Testface, the brainchild of David Snider, hails from central Oregon, via years of winters in the cold woods of New Hampshire. Almost a decade of woodsheding and selectively chiseling out songs in the shadows produced this years "doctor won't you get us to dawn".For this release he has harbored an arsenal of trusted friends made up of local indie accomplices and academic monsters to create a surprisingly different kind of album. Parts psychfolk parts experimental Americana, the songs are spacious and lonesome with a deep yearning for solace. Testface is poignant, wounded, and endlessly searching.
From an early age he was exposed to grave hymnal stanzas on Sunday mornings, the quirky accordion playing of his eccentric Swedish mother and the solemn dark madrigals of his German composer father. His first full-length, excluding years of mailed cassettes to colleagues, was titled "What To Cut" . Self-released in 1998, this bare bones haunting treasure has slowly received underground acclaim. A Tascam sketchbook of sunlight captured in various bedrooms, it paints fragile acoustic heartbreak with the tiniest of pop-hooks and the expanse of a national forest.
The live shows are sometimes quiet ghostly guitars with naked nerves exposed, while lately the full band shows have been wide sweeping walls of sound with his powerful yet unpredictable ensemble. This prolific artist is a gasp of cold fresh air and his deeply affecting music will leave you with a feeling of hope in your gut.
"While Snider's lyrics are often inscrutable they contribute to an atmosphere that feels like a musical snowdrift, subject to the whiteouts of his emotional tableau."
- The Eugene Weekly
Doctor Won't Get Us To Dawn instead trades in quiet organic bleakness while teasing the boundaries of pop folk music... Equal parts YHF-esque Wilco and Americana-tinged Moon Safari-era Air, Testface succeeds in presenting an album of solid, memorable songs that are performed and recorded with meticulous, ambitious care... While second, third, and fourth listens (preferably with headphones) are required to really appreciate Testface's cottage industry art pop, time invested will unearth a surprisingly fertile little gem.
It is the care and attention to unmatched detail that makes albums like these (the rare, the few, the obsolete) so fucking brilliant - the way a vocal is placed just below the drums, but around the keys (see: "picture picture"), or placing the vocals down in a well that is shared by an acoustic guitar and a trail of barely audible feedback ("hold on merry go round" - the track that reveals the albums title line). One of the finest 2005 will reveal.
"The superb hooks, great beats and terrific melodies that span the entire album will insure the a feel good time for all who take in the Snider's sound. And for those who like to dig deeper, get a little more out of the experience, Testface more than provides one with enough sonic and psychological mysteries, puzzles, clues, and other oddities to play with, consider, and try to figure out. One of the great albums of 2005 and with Testface an emerging force in the independent music world... one of those must own records, complete in a gorgeously designed digi-pak as random and rare as the sounds it houses."