No Country

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No Country (previously Test Your Reflex, and a.k.a. Low Shoulder)
Origin Thousand Oaks, California, USA
Genres Indie rock/pop, Alternative rock
Years active 2004–present
Labels RCA Records (until 2009), currently unsigned
Website http://www.testyourreflex.net
Members Ryan Levine - lead vocals, guitar, keyboards
Ryan Clark - lead guitar
Agustin Sanchez - bass, backing vocals
Andrew Ampaya - piano, keyboard, vocals
Sal Cortez - drums, backing vocals

No Country (named Test Your Reflex from 2004–2009) is an indie rock/pop band from Los Angeles, California. The name change coincided with the end of their contract with RCA Records. As "No Country" the band remain unsigned. Their only release since leaving RCA was a single as the fictional band Low Shoulder for the soundtrack to the 2009 film Jennifer's Body. On July 14, 2010 the band put out two singles on their MySpace page.

The band's debut release was The Burning Hour (released April 24, 2007) on RCA Records. The album has been described as having an 80s sound [1] with hints of U2, The Cars, and Simple Minds[2] as well as The Cure[3][4][5] and The Killers.[6]

The band featured on the MySpace Tribute to the Smashing Pumpkins album released on MySpace Records and distributed in the July 2007 issue of SPIN Magazine.[7] They liken themselves to other bands on the Pumpkins tribute, such as The Bravery.[8] All tracks appeared on each band's MySpace page from May 14, 2007. Test Your Reflex opened for The Smashing Pumpkins on July 22, 2007 at The Fillmore in San Francisco. Before that, from March 22, 2007 to May 12, 2007, Test Your Reflex toured the US with the Detroit-based band Electric Six.

Television performances include two appearances with Carson Daly. On June 22, 2007 the band appeared on Last Call with Carson Daly and the following month performed on the Carson Daly show (aired July 12, 2007[9]).

Their song "Thinking of You" is featured as the background music of a radio commercial for Michelob Golden Light beer, heard in the Twin Cities and other markets in the midwest where the beer is sold.

History and Influences[edit]

The group is composed of five musicians of various backgrounds currently all between the ages of 19-21. As Test Your Reflex, they started out in the rehearsal rooms of a teen center in Thousand Oaks, California. They came together in early 2004.

Having played in various electronic and rock bands since grammar school, lead singer Levine decided he wanted to try something new. Inspired by classic albums like U2’s The Joshua Tree, Peter Gabriel’s So and Joni Mitchell’s Blue,[10] after experimenting in his garage, Levine gradually developed the sound that would become Test Your Reflex.

It started when Levine met drummer Sal Cortez through an ex-girlfriend. The two then began searching for others to join them. After many months they finally found guitarist RC (a.k.a. Ryan Clark), a former guitarist of Los Angeles punk band R.O.H. Then came keyboardist Andrew Ampaya, a classically trained pianist with similar musical influences. With innovative and like-minded bassist Agustin Sanchez joining shortly thereafter, the first and final line up of Test Your Reflex was created.[10]

In 2009, the group changed its name to No Country. Also in 2009, two members of the band (Ryan Levine and Sal Cortez) appeared as members of the fictional band Low Shoulder in the 2009 film Jennifer's Body. The band performed the songs "Through the Trees" (written by Ryan Levine and Andrew Ampaya) and "One More Night" (written by Ryan Levine) as well as Blondie's "In the Flesh" in the film. The film's soundtrack includes the song "Through the Trees" by Low Shoulder.

Media Coverage/Online Releases[edit]

Last Call with Carson Daly - July 12, 2007[9]
Rhapsody Ones To Watch for May - May 7, 2007[11]
LA Weekly Digital Jukebox – April 19, 2007
LA Times “Buzz Bands” – April 19, 2007[1]
VH1 Hear Music First – April 17, 2007[12]
Artist Direct – April 12, 2007[13]
Pre-RCA Release of “Pieces of the Sun” on iTunes – April 10, 2007
SPIN Magazine/SPIN.com "Artist of the Day" - January 5, 2007[3]
USA Today's Pop Candy Blog – December 5, 2006[14]

Discography[edit]

As No Country[edit]

Singles
"Right Time" on MySpace, July 14, 2010
"Faithful" on MySpace, July 14, 2010

As Low Shoulder[edit]

Single
"Through the Trees" on the Jennifer's Body soundtrack, August 25, 2009

As Test Your Reflex[edit]

Albums
The Burning Hour (RCA Records) April 24, 2007 - U.S. Billboard Heatseekers peak No. 46[15]

Compilations
MySpace Tribute to The Smashing Pumpkins|Helio Presents: The Smashing Pumpkins Tribute CD, July 2007

Videos
Pieces of the Sun (YouTube) [16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Bronson, Kevin (2007-04-19). "LA Times "Buzz Bands"". LA Times. Retrieved 2007-04-19. 
  2. ^ Fennessey, Kathleen C. "Amazon.com Editorial Review". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2007-04-24. 
  3. ^ a b "SPIN.com Artist of the Day". SPIN.com. Retrieved 2007-01-05. 
  4. ^ Lymangrover, Jason. "The Burning Hour: album review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2007-10-03. 
  5. ^ Murray, G. "Pop Syndicate Album Review". popsyndicate.com. Archived from the original on 2007-08-16. Retrieved 2007-07-30. 
  6. ^ Harris, Will. "Bullz-Eye Album Review". Bullz-eye.com. Retrieved 2007-01-10. 
  7. ^ "Test Your Reflex 'Adore' the Pumpkins". SPIN Magazine. Retrieved 2007-05-25. 
  8. ^ "Rhapsody interview". Rhapsody Online. Retrieved 2007-10-03. 
  9. ^ a b "Last Call with Carson Daly Episode Listing". episodeworld.com. Retrieved 2007-07-12. 
  10. ^ a b Atkinson, Dave. "The Burning Hour: Review". ACED Magazine. Retrieved 2007-01-22. [dead link]
  11. ^ "Rhapsody Ones To Watch". Rhapsody. Retrieved 2007-05-07. 
  12. ^ "VH1 Hear Music First". VH1. Retrieved 2007-04-17. 
  13. ^ "Artist Direct". Artist Direct. Retrieved 2007-04-12. 
  14. ^ Matheson, Whitney. "USA Today Pop Candy Blog". USA Today. Retrieved 2006-12-05. [dead link]
  15. ^ Chart Positions. Allmusic
  16. ^ "Pieces of the Sun video". YouTube. Retrieved 2007-02-05. 

External links[edit]