As names for bands go, Test-Icicles must be the most absurd I have heard this year. A close second though is DanMoFo. Just can't get my head around calling yourself Dan Mother Fuc**r. You conjure an image of foul mouthed gangster rap, which this EP is far from.
But, as my old English teacher used to say, never judge a book by its cover, and this one definitely falls into that category. I inserted the CD with some trepidation, and was pleasantly surprised to hear the first track "Calm down". No not a set of sound bites from Brookside, but a guitar driven, haunting tune that after listening to a few times really started to grow on me. It's not a song that you will find yourself singing in the shower, but it is a good, interesting listen, and if played in the right ambience and to the right people it would be widely received.
I then proceeded to track 2, the EP entitled "Dirty as gin". The speed increases for this track, although the style remains the same. I have never found gin to be particularly dirty myself, so maybe I have missed out on something here but never mind. A little too repetitive this song and it lacks the creativity to make it leap out at you and demand to be bought, a bit like a Big Issue seller.
Moving on to "Oh no!", and a change in direction, leading us to a slow piano influenced song that is never going to get the party rocking, but is well crafted and somewhat haunting.
Last but by no means is least the ace in the pack "No I don't". I really liked this one. Good beat, good guitar and a more uplifting vocal performance. Reminded me of Beck in his earlier days, and that is a high compliment.
Overall this EP is recommended, but just make sure it's your thing before you shell out some hard earned cash. If you can imagine a mix of Portishead, Radiohead and Beck then you won't be far wrong. It would not appeal to everyone, but those who enjoy a chilled out, vocal tune with guitar and piano influences, I think will enjoy it.
A good effort from an expanding and increasingly high quality Leeds music scene.