Review ·

True story: The first time I tried loading With Love and Squalor
into my laptop, there was a horrible screeching sound, followed by the
disc being projectile-vomited right back at me. This might have been
due to the copyright protection software that Virgin has kindly
imbedded inside the disc. Or maybe my computer was trying to tell me
something.

[more:]

 

We
Are Scientists - a New York via California trio - have that "Indie Rock
for Dummies" sound that major labels have been snatching up lately,
playing catch-up to the O.C. effect. The easiest reference point would
be a more guitar-centric Hot Hot Heat (which We Are Scientists recently
finished a tour with). The results are danceable - if you don't mind
dancing to essentially the same tune for twelve tracks. Much of With Love and Squalor is
like your old coat rack: You know where the hooks are going to be even
in your sleep. That's handy when you want to hang up your jacket in the
dark after a long night of drinking, but it's considerably less
enjoyable if you like to be challenged by an art form.

 

What
makes the album even less enjoyable is that its track listing is
extremely frontloaded. All of its saving graces have been exhausted
three songs in. "Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt" overcomes lead singer
Keith Murray's ridiculously drawn-out vocals thanks to some solid
drumming and energetic guitar riffs. These same qualities keep "This
Scene is Dead" and "Inaction" above water, especially the latter, whose
constant rhythmic gear-shifting is actually pretty infectious. After
that, With Love and Squalor begins to flounder, and We Are Scientists are left to drown in a sea of their own redundancy.

 

 

We Are Scientists Web site: http://www.wearescientists.com/

Virgin Records Web site: http://www.virginrecords.com/

"Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt" stream: http://www.wearescientists.com/songs/stream/nobodymove.m3u

"Inaction" MP3: http://www.wearescientists.com/songs/thewolfshour/inaction.mp3

 

Discuss this review at The Prefix Message Board

  • Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt
  • This Scene Is Dead
  • Inaction
  • Can't Lose
  • Callbacks
  • Cash Cow
  • It's A Hit
  • The Great Escape
  • Textbook
  • Lousy Reputation
  • Worth The Wait
  • What's The Word
Scharpling and Wurster - Hippy Justice The Dreadful Yawns The Dreadful Yawns

What are you talking about!? With Love And Squalor is the best album ever by the best band to walk the face of the Earth. Every song is amazing with a great, catchy hook. Are we talking about the same We Are Scientists?

Jake

Ouch, man, ouch! The problem is, I can kind of see what you mean.. Their songs do sound similar in places and I admit the album is a little front-loaded, but in reply to these comments, I wouldn't call [the songs/band] predictable and there are some gems in the second half.
I do love We Are Scientists and this album however, and I think you'd be blown to smithereens -in a good way of course- by their live show.

Louise

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