on 4 July 2007
This is one hell of an album and among the band's finest efforts. "Living Proof" is an incredibly catchy song with it's pulsing beat and dual harmonies. The band goes back to their blues roots with "Helpless" and "Insomnia". The final track "Lifeline" is a true epic with fantastic performances all round. Wishbone ash guitars are always amazing and this is no exception. Martin Turner's Bass playing is both solid and highly melodic and his soaring vocals are always brilliant.
The production is jagged and hard-hitting and the remaster complements this.
I would reccomend this album to any lover of good music, JUST BUY IT!!!
When this album was released, I got the impression that Wishbone Ash didn't believe in themselves so much. The modest title suggests a band marking time. Yet 'Just Testing' is a pretty vibrant collection of straight, well-crafted rock songs. The playing and the production give the music a fluid, expansive feel. It isn't what the band were doing in their early years, but it's valid nevertheless. The material is of a uniformly high quality and there are a few ambitious elements along the way, not the least of which is the eerie guitar on 'Insomnia.' Most of the tracks are around the five-minute mark, with the exception of the shorter, poppier 'Pay The Price.' Of the bonus tracks, 'Come On' is a lacklustre version of the Chuck Berry song, 'Fast Johnny' wouldn't be out of place on the album proper, and the live version of 'Blowin' Free' might make you want to look for their live albums. Particularly at the price, this is a great value album.
on 24 June 2010
For me, the Wishbone Ash albums made with Laurie Wisefield have stood the test of time better than those of the Ted Turner 'Argus' era. Lyrically and musically, this is a mature album by a band at the height of their powers, with great guitar work by Wisefield and Powell, strong songs and imaginative arrangements. The bass work in particular pulls it all together, and when Martin Turner left after this album his contribution was sorely missed.
on 21 November 2012
Am gradually collecting Wishbone Ash CDs, replacing those I remember from LP days, however this one was not one I'd previously owned or heard, so was potentially a bit of a risk. But it's great! It's been blasting away in the car and played at home at a more neighbour-friendly volume. It has all the usual hall-marks of Wishbone Ash - good, clear vocals, great harmonising guitar playing, resounding drums. Wasn't sure about track no.3 Insomnia to begin with but it's growing on me with repeated playing. The following track - Helpless - by comparison was instantly a favourite! As was Life Line, track no.8. And with Blowing Free (live) as a bonus track ... sheer heaven!