We Are Scientists: Barbara

RIYL: Weezer, Franz Ferdinand, Sloan

After spending two albums and roughly four years shuffling around the EMI family tree – Virgin released their 2006 album With Love and Squalor (a.k.a. The Kitty Album), while 2008’s Brain Thrust Mastery was released by Astralwerks – New York smart alecks We Are Scientists are going out on their own (with the help of R.E.D. Distribution) on their fourth album, Barbara. Now that the band is paying the bills, it should come as no surprise that they jettisoned the sonic experimentation of Brain Thrust Mastery in favor of the ‘record only what we can play’ approach of With Love and Squalor, though in fairness to them, economics are only half of it; the band has a new full-time drummer in the form of ex-Razorlight skinsman Andy Burrows, so you can see why head Scientists Keith Murray and Chris Cain were eager to get back to sounding like a live band rather than a studio creation.


The album is not a carbon copy of Squalor, though. Yes, leadoff track and first single “Rules Don’t Stop” will have fans of “The Great Escape” jumping for joy, but Murray isn’t ready to give up on the melodic territory he explored with his vocal tracks last time around. “I Don’t Bite” has a high, ringing vocal that was nonexistent on Squalor, and “Pittsburgh” has the album’s best pure pop chorus. Pity the band phoned in the album’s artwork, which looks like it was assembled in the cab on the way to the printing plant. (Masterswan Recordings 2010)

We Are Scientists MySpace page
Click to buy Barbara from Amazon


Related Posts