A musical view-master of life in the storied midwest.
"Continuing a steady every-four-years album streak, Testa Rosa’s fourth full-length racks up more career highlights for one of Milwaukee’s most consistent rock bands. There’s certainly a running theme of looking back, world-weariness but without pessimism; the singing and playing are more vigorous than ever, though. The shimmery jangle-pop of “Alice Anything” and “Play It As It Lays” hearken back to early-’90s R.E.M., owing in part to Shane Hochstetler’s dense, punchy production. Betty Blexrud-Strigens’ ghostly harmonies on “Herring Gull” work amazingly well over the band’s insistent rhythm section, while “7w” and “Great Time To Go Back” take us through alternately sad and sunny nostalgic dreampop. And the album’s centerpiece, “High Horse,” may be the grandest piece of music thus far in the Testa Rosa catalog."
"Frontwoman Betty Blexrud-Strigens and the band have made some of the most overtly wistful songs of their discography to open their fourth full-length album. The pop-rock drive of "Alice Anything" and "(Not Saying What You) Really Mean" illustrate a nice new shade for Testa Rosa, but the band's strong suit remains its way with grandeur, gorgeously realized here with the ominous lullaby swing of "Nature Kills Maidens," and on the 6½-minute "High Horse," which swells from simple piano and Blexrud-Strigens' yearning voice to bold, teary-eyed, full-band splendor."
Piet Levy - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"Celebrating the release of their fourth album, IV, Testa Rosa stands tall as far as truth-in-advertising goes. When it comes to catchy, haunted pop songs, they are in a league of their own. Betty Blexrud-Strigens would never call herself a star, but judge for yourself. Her low-key stage charm fits perfectly with an unassuming band who are among the best in town."
"Testa Rosa excels at creating a sound that subtly defies categorization yet remains instantly familiar." - Matt Wild - Milwaukee Record
"If you have fond memories of the music of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, the “golden age of studio recording,” you will find much to like in the music of Testa Rosa. However, fans of contemporary alternative rock should also find themselves enthralled by the rich textures of the band’s sound..." - Bill Lamb - Wisconsin Gazette
"The Milwaukee quintet led by Betty Blexrud-Strigens and seconded by her husband Damian continues to make convincing proof(s) that indie-pop and indie-rock songs can blossom most beautifully when allowed to blossom most thoughtfully." - Jon Gilbertson - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"unlike most of what passes for pop music these days, this is music with a sophisticated sound that has more in common with Steely Dan, Boz Scaggs, and Elton John's early work -- and with the vaunted 4AD sound of the 80s and 90s that made albums by the Cocteau Twins, This Mortal Coil, and Lush so listenable -- than any of the current chart-toppers featuring one-name artists hiding behind a homogenized army of faceless hit producers." - The One True Dead Angel
"Testa Rosa is an absolute treasure with not one song that lacks in quality or artistic vision." - ObscureSound.com