Acid Test

  • Acid Test
  • Trip on This (Can. Eggplant) 1992 
  • Drop (Sire/Reprise) 1993 

Lots of bands have members whose fame endures after their death, but guitarist Steve Fall of Toronto dance-pop quintet Acid Test was famous as a dead man before his life attracted public notice: he played the bothersome corpse in Highway 61, a devilish 1992 black comedy by award-winning Canadian filmmaker Bruce McDonald. Fall’s work on the movie led to the creation of Acid Test with bassist Lucy Di Santo and their contribution of two strong songs (“Mr. Skin,” “Dance”) to its soundtrack. That the media-savvy group seemed destined for success was reinforced when an American major signed Acid Test. The hitch was that Fall and Di Santo lacked songwriting skills; rather than woodshed to work out the problem, they just kept releasing different mixes of “Mr. Skin” and “Dance.” Trip on This contains three redundant mixes of the former and two of the latter; Drop adds yet another version of “Mr. Skin” to a passel of weaker songs that do nothing to advance the band’s cause. Faced with withering criticism and a paucity of sales and radio play, Acid Test quietly retreated, and hasn’t been heard from since.

[Peter Howell]