May 24, 2007

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Test Your Reflex, The Burning Hour
RCA Records, 2007

Storm-lashed quasi-emo with Cure signature moves, pensively mature breakup music that knows there are things in life beyond missing your lust-object’s impeccable taste in umbrella drinks. After hearing it from the horse’s mouth I can report that the songs are influenced by U2, Depeche Mode and Peter Gabriel, and they do sound like that if you throw in some overproduced Snow Patrol, thus there’s no signal loss when compared to the modernity of My Chemical Romance. “I’m Not Sorry” is the one you want in your car when (s)he’s being supermegabitch and there’s still time to hit the bar, a tune perhaps Socialburn might come up with if they thought the metal kids weren’t looking. “Thinking of You” slides equal props to nu-mod and Squeeze, there are some great Killers knockoffs to be found, and the one low point, “I Am Alive”’s totally unnecessary vicking of John Cougar, is tempered with enough INXS to make it palatable. BEric W. Saeger