We Are Scientists – Megaplex – 27/04/18
We Are Scientists are, surprisingly, not scientists. Instead, they are a New York based indie band consisting of guitarist/vocalist Keith Murray, and bassist Chris Cain. Megaplex is the band’s seventh studio album since they formed in 2000, and it sees them branching out in terms of the sound and style of their music.
Opening the album is the catchy ‘One In, One Out’. It’s upbeat and has a sound that reminds the listener of Walk the Moon. It’s certainly an interesting and attention-grabbing opener which sees the band moving away from their beginnings as a rock band.
Highlighting Keith Murray’s interesting vocals is ‘Notes in a Bottle’. Murray’s voice is filled with warmth and power and coupled with the repetitive bass and delicate guitar, We Are Scientists have created a clever little pop song which flows perfectly into an indie sounding guitar solo. The pair have cleverly managed to blur the lines between pop and alternative music, and it makes for an album that is light and easy to listen to.
With its punchy drums and distorted guitar riffs, ‘Your Light Has Changed’ is a song that brings We Are Scientists back to their roots. This slightly more classic rock sound is something that suits the pair. While the lyrical themes surround love and the associated heartbreak, the overall style of this track is different to the majority of the album.
Proving this to be an album of two halves, ‘KIT’ is beautifully reserved and heartfelt. The reserved bass and delicate keys cause the focus to become Murray’s strong vocals and beautiful lyrics. The influences behind this album create wonderful contrast between not only the ten tracks that have been produced, but a contrast between this album and previous ones. Moving in a slightly new direction shows the growth of the duo and how well they adapt to the ways popular music has changed.
‘Now or Never’ opens with a swaggering guitar riffs, before relaxing into a gentle track with anthemic choruses. Despite the multitude of different styles We Are Scientists have attempted for this record, their songs seem to have the same formula and similar lyrical contents. While it may be tried and tested, it causes even the most diverse sounding songs to feel the same as the typical pop songs.
While each song has a slightly different sound, when these ten tracks are put together in an album, they become repetitive, which detracts from the skill and knowledge behind the music. Despite this, there are moments of genius in this album which can be heard in the subtle distorted vocals in ‘You Failed’, and the way that the songs flow perfectly into one another. Certainly clever and interesting, Megaplex is an enjoyable pop/rock record, and worth checking out!
Review: Dottie Giles