Thursday, February 2

More Scene Than Science

Artist: We Are Scientists
Album: With Love And Squalor

Comments: Its got that sound. You know the one I'm talking about. The one that The Strokes made mainstream. Thats same sound that made The Killers the breakout group of last summer. That sound that the Bloc Party used oh so well in their debute. That sound, my friends, is the sound of simplistic, 80's influenced rock. The kind of "Let's-make-the-guitar-sound-like-a-keyboard-unless-we're-actually-using-a-keyboard" sound. Repetative and simple drums that keep the songs focused. Basslines that occasionaly drift off, but for the most part anchor the guitar. We all know the drill by now.

We Are Scientitst have that sound all over, which makes them really easy to write off as another knockoff band. Right off the bat, the album opens with "Nobody Move, Nobody Gets Hurt" which plays more like a Bloc Party C side or Killers B side than anything else. Later on, "Inaction" sounds almost exaclty like a Hot Hot Heat song, or at least a song that they would play. This formula of sound almost exactly like other bands follows throughout the entire album, which not only gets old fast, but also reminds you of the other bands who did it better to begin with.

The album is not without its own merit though. Every now and again, you get the feeling that these guys just want to return to their garage roots and just rock out. And it is at these moments when the band sounds strongest, because they are not copying a style of music, but building on their own. Songs like "Callbacks" and "It's a Hit" play more like early 90's grunge with a bit of 80's postureing thrown in. It is at those times, when the band is pushing past their own scene, that they sound most relaxed, most focused.

I can see this album getting some radio play and selling a few singles, but not much more than that. At its best, its a group of kids trying to bring a touch of rock into a scene based on the effeminate 80's. At the worst, it sounds like a collection of other bands's demos and B sides. We Are Scientists have some potential, but choose to bury it in scarves and eyeliner.

Tracks: "Callbacks" "It's a Hit"

RATING: 5 out of 10

WORTH THE MONEY: Only if you can't wait for the next Killers album.

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