FACIAL makes the noise that cuts like a chainsaw through the thick buildup of residue in your mind, left behind by years of dealing with the dull banality of life.
They take the dead parts of your brain killed by mundane repetition and blasts it away with a pressure hose, while the low end rattles all the barnacles off your body and pounds you the way you are always afraid to ask for. Sweet melodies interchange with primal screaming as you fluctuate between comfort and discomfort, horror and jubilation, familiarity and utter confusion.
FACIAL aren’t always making sense. In fact, they have been known to not make sense at all. It makes perfect sense considering the difficulty of true communication. This is due to the subjective nature of reality, lack of attention due to mass distraction, and the fact that anything anybody does can be taken out of context and framed to be perceived in any which way you want! These are just a few factors, so imagine trying to boil down a live, complex organism, such as a band, to a concise couple of paragraphs, using words! what a difficult task!
Who wants to read anyways! What could somebody read about a band that would even peak their interest? A cute story? Their musical references and antecedents? Perhaps some affiliation with a more well-known artist? Maybe we are completely bored with words now and they have lost all actual meaning, and only the right combination of emojis will titillate interest anymore?
If FACIAL were to be represented only by emojis, it would probably be: The guy with sunglasses on, Upside-down smiley guy, and The guy with x’s for eyes. bored to death.
TEST is not a project. TEST is a band. A Los Angeles-based trio of young men who have bonded like brothers over brisk, gritty rock with punk abandon.
Two thirds of the members, Blake Stokes (vocals, guitar) and Wayne Meza (bass), have known each other for over a third of their lives after meeting at a dirty dive bar in their hometown of Houston. Week after week, their respective bands performed at the bar and the duo routinely closed the joint down while drinking underage. And in between cheap tequila shots and pitchers of Shiner Bock, they struck an accord by obsessing over late ‘70s punk (The Clash, Sex Pistols), mid ‘90s Britpop (Blur, Oasis), and early ‘00s garage rock (The Libertines, The Hives).
Years later, Stokes graduated from college in Los Angeles and soon after Meza drove out to join him. Together, they clandestinely moved into a windowless, lockout rehearsal space in Vernon (a corrupt, autonomous city of industry within L.A. and prominently featured in the second season of HBO’s True Detective). Surrounded by colossal warehouses, garment factories, and meatpacking plants, it was in this smelly, industrial urbanscape that they collectively forged their intense tone with drummer Morgan Ponder.
And while sustaining on generic instant noodles and only taking showers at truck stops, they wrote songs about battling inner demons, hating their day jobs, and living in a concrete wasteland. The result was their debut EP, Tremble and Vibrate, which was released on April 15th, 2016 and features L.A. Girlfriend on the title track. Recorded at the Velveteen Lounge and produced by Trey Findley (of Liphemra), the four songs are intentionally abrasive as an amalgam of dance-punk rhythms, alternative riffs, and macabre lyrics. Love ballads these are not.
The band no longer lives in their practice space, but their new singles for 2017, “7th Street Metro” and “Hallways,” can attest that their blatantly raw vibe has not subsided and probably never will.