We Are Scientists - With Love and Squalor

We Are Scientists
With Love and Squalor

(Virgin)

First Appeared in The Music Box, January 2006, Volume 13, #1

Written by John Metzger

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With the current indie-turned-mainstream rock field feeling as crowded as a southern California freeway during rush hour, it may be challenging for We Are Scientistsí major label debut With Love and Squalor to gain traction. Even so, itís hard to blame the group for trying, considering that not only is the trio holding kitties on its cover, but also its exuberance is so infectious that itís downright impossible to hate them. Like its peers, We Are Scientists laces its pop-spun melodies with new wave beats and injects them with a feverish punk rock charge, and the end result is akin to crossing Bloc Party, Franz Ferdinand, Hot Hot Heat, and Phantom Planet, which is to say that the outing is a solid, if fairly typical slice of modernized ruminations on retro styles that is tailor-made for one of The O.C.ís soundtrack compilations. Nevertheless, there are a few selections that provide more promise than the rest, most notably the furiously churning This Scene Is Dead and the full-throttle rampage of Callbacks. Elsewhere, the manner in which the bass-driven stomp of Canít Lose gives way to a sweet, harmonic bridge comes as a marvelous surprise, and it suggests that, perhaps, there is more to the band than it initially chose to reveal. Unfortunately, We Are Scientists wears out its welcome long before With Love and Squalorís 37 minutes have concluded, largely because the collective should have employed a few more tricks in order to make its 12 songs sound a little less redundant. starstar Ĺ

We Are Scientists is available from Barnes & Noble.
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Ratings

1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!

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Copyright © 2006 The Music Box