We Are Scientists

    With Love and Squalor

    4

    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

     

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