TEST are the Los Angeles trio of singer-guitarist Blake Stokes, bassist Wayne Meza and drummer Morgan Ponder, whose songs are informed by a common love of punk, post-punk and garage rock and a common resolve to do it right. Which is to say, don’t overthink. So raw, visceral and immediate is the trio’s new bruiser “7th Street Metro” that your blood might not know which way to rush. “‘7th Street Metro’ was written very quickly and purely out of instinct, the three of us knocking out the foundation of the song in about half an hour,” Stokes explains. “Simplicity and urgency were the guiding principles, and the whole song is an exercise in not over analyzing the creative burst that naturally happened in the room. Plus, the false stops are fun.”
TEST has its roots in the longtime friendship between Houston natives Stokes and Meza. After Stokes came west for college, Meza eventually joined him and along with Ponder they decamped to a windowless lockout in the gritty, industrial city of Vernon. (The tourism board’s image of Southern California it is not.) The single is the follow-up to their 2016 EP “Tremble and Vibrate,” which featured L.A. Girlfriend on the title track. If you want to soundtrack a night of beers-and-shots — one that also holds the possibility that “we can talk all night” — TEST passes.
||| Stream: “7th Street Metro”
||| Live: TEST plays Feb. 20 at the Hi Hat, along with Cigarette Bums. Tickets.