The story of Test Your Reflex begins in the rehearsal rooms of a teen center in Thousand Oaks, California and will probably end somewhere on the dance floor, the radio dial or on a mix tape passed between two people looking for something new and special to bestow upon each other.

The group is comprised of five musicians of various backgrounds all between the ages of 19–21. Together, this diverse lot trumps much of the macho banality of current rock with sweeping keys, textured guitars and cathartic ballads and–more importantly–bring the craft of songwriting back to the alternative pop world in explosive doses.

Test Your Reflex came together in early 2004 under what lead singer Ryan Levine jokingly describes as “less than glamorous conditions.” Having played in various electronic and rock bands since grammar school, Levine decided he wanted to expand his musical palette and spent six frustrating months alone in his garage endlessly tinkering with new songs and arrangements.

Inspired by the sonic grandeur of classic albums like U2’s The Joshua Tree, Peter Gabriel’s So and Joni Mitchell’s Blue as well as all things Bowie and Eno, Levine quietly honed his love of song and melody while most of his peers reveled in the sounds of local acts like Linkin Park and Incubus.

Musical salvation came when Levine met magnetic drummer Sal Cortez through an ex–girlfriend. The two hit it off immediately and began the long process of finding kindred spirits to join them. After many months of searching they finally found guitarist RC, a former guitarist of local thrashy hardcore band R.O.H. Then came keyboardist Andrew Ampaya, a classically trained piano virtuoso whose influences meshed with their own. With innovative and like–minded bassist Agustin Sanchez joining shortly thereafter, the first and final line up of Test Your Reflex was cemented.