We Are Scientists: Barbara | CD review


Unfairly or not, it has always felt like comedy, not music, has been the focus for New York-based duo, We Are Scientists. Known for their witty and self-referential interviews, Keith Murray and Chris Cain could easily pass as a more louche Flight of the Conchords – they even try their hand at pastiche with I Don't Bite's cribbing of Arctic Monkeys – were it not for the sullenness of their lyrics. For much of their fourth album, the pair – joined by ex-Razorlight drummer Andy Burrows – frame these bitter tales with sprightly, if obvious, new wave guitar pop; opener Rules Don't Stop Me and new single Nice Guys bound around like overly exuberant puppies. However, the album sags badly in the middle, and is only redeemed by the closing salvo of You Should Learn's sleek synth pop and Central AC's festival-friendly chorus. We Are Scientists know how to create instantly catchy tunes, unfortunately they've yet to master making them stick in the memory bank.


Michael Cragg

The GuardianTramp

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