We Are Scientists
A Massive Leap Into the Known For Our Favourite Californians.
On the day of release I finally got my ears around the fifth album from We Are Scientists.
Helter Seltzer is its name, which pretty much sums up the contents, because they are NOT punk nor straight-rock nor indie-pop but a delightful mix of absolutely everything that has poppy influences.
We Are Scientists are primarily singer/guitarist Keith Murray and bass-player Chris Cain, and for this release the welcome return of their former keyboard player Max Hart (now of Katy Perry’s band) and they release this corker of an album only a few days before taking it on tour.
The album opens with first single Buckle and it is quite a stomper with the heavy guitar sounds. The album glides through quite nicely and you can definitely hear the thought process of them playing a lot of Cyndi Lauper and Tears For Fears albums when making Helter Seltzer, especially in Too Late (dare I say, it’s a faster version of the Bee Gees’ You Win Again!) and We Need A Word. Then, in Hold On there is an almost anthemic chorus with electronic console keyboard sounds pulsating through, giving a slight 80s edge to it.
Knocking it down a few notches, We Are Scientists bring in a couple of ballads too, with Want For Nothing and Waiting For Love seemingly full of heartfelt lyrics like, “I bet it’s time I called you up…I can’t do this alone,” and “ don’t keep waiting for the rest of your life” respectively. It is interesting to note that Keith says, “it’s as much about my friendship with Chris as anything else,” when listening to those lyrics. Without getting too deep, Classic Love, comes in between these two on the album, and has an almost soulful surf sound to it; bringing back lush memories of the 90’s.
Bringing the album to a close is Forgiveness, guitar laden rock and much grittier sounding vocals making it a great way to bring everything to a close.
Helter Seltzer takes the We Are Scientists admirers on a magical mystery tour; while also introducing new listeners to their huge developments since their formation in 2000.
In other words, We Are Scientists have not changed or compromised too much to keep up with the current pace of what is out there today, in this crazy Helter Seltzer of a musical world.
Victoria Ling aka L’il Vik
Released April 22nd 2016