Release Date: Jun 15, 2010
Record label: Red
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
What a difference a drummer makes. A few years back, We Are Scientists released With Love and Squalor, an energy-filled power-pop album with a bevy of catchy songs. Sure, it could’ve used a bit more variety between the tracks, but there was a sense of infectious fun to the band. Most of that fun came from the hooky vocals of singer-guitarist Keith Murray and the spot-on harmonies of bassist Chris Cain.
Barbara introduces We Are Scientists’ new label and new drummer -- and a mix of the approaches the band took on their two previous albums. Joined by former Razorlight skins man Andy Burrows, Keith Murray and Chris Cain return to With Love and Squalor’s guitar-dominated style, but keep Brain Thrust Mastery’s slick production style. The band sounds more focused than they have before, which is a blessing and a curse: this is certainly the band’s most cohesive music, but Brain Thrust Mastery showed We Are Scientists could handle everything from synth-punk to jangly guitar pop with dramatic flair.
Rewind back to 2005, when the supposed second coming of Britpop was in full swing and the last thing anyone could have expected would be for a trio of Californians to gatecrash the party. Nevertheless, despite their origins, We Are Scientists found themselves clasped to the British bosom. Impossible to dislike and inoffensive in every way possible, they may have emerged from the land of the free but in many people's eyes they were one of us, rather than outsiders hopping on a short-lived revival bandwagon.
Unfairly or not, it has always felt like comedy, not music, has been the focus for New York-based duo, We Are Scientists. Known for their witty and self-referential interviews, Keith Murray and Chris Cain could easily pass as a more louche Flight of the Conchords – they even try their hand at pastiche with I Don't Bite's cribbing of Arctic Monkeys – were it not for the sullenness of their lyrics. For much of their fourth album, the pair – joined by ex-Razorlight drummer Andy Burrows – frame these bitter tales with sprightly, if obvious, new wave guitar pop; opener Rules Don't Stop Me and new single Nice Guys bound around like overly exuberant puppies.
In the grand tradition of Fun Lovin' Criminals, We Are Scientists are a very American band who scored a minor hit in their homeland (in their case, 2006's "Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt") but will be remembered for having achieved a relatively large and mysterious popularity in the UK. WAS seem fully aware of this situation. As if releasing mini-LP Live From Union Chapel London wasn't enough of a missive to their British fanbase, they went ahead and added the drummer from post-Strokes shitshow Razorlight.
WAS’s best album yet sees Razorlight’s ex-drummer join the fold. Lou Thomas 2010 Since the release of 2008’s Brain Thrust Mastery, We Are Scientists have enlisted former Razorlight man Andy Burrows on drums and created and starred in a series of short MTV mock-docs. Listeners to this fourth album concerned about any comedy influence can rest easy, though, as Brooklyn-based pair Keith Murray and Chris Cain have only allowed the addition of Burrows to affect their day jobs.