With Love and Squalor is one of the few albums that I've actually bought in recent years, with no regret whatsoever. Didn't take many listens for that album to grow on me; WAS had a sound that, although a bit repetitive, worked very well. But I'm the type of person that hesitates to listen to later efforts by bands that I really like, so I didn't immediately buy Brain Thrust Mastery when I heard of its release. It might've taken me a couple of months even, I don't remember, but the fact of the matter is, I did end up buying WAS's third album eventually. I can honestly say that this was a more worthwhile purchase for me than WL&S. Why? Because I think WAS showed great signs of maturity on this album. Many bands experiment with different styles and sounds with their later releases, often leaving most of their fans disappointed (I can't tell you how many times I've been disappointed), but this is an example of the opposite (IMO, at least).
I personally know a few people who can agree that although WL&S was a great effort by WAS, many of the songs sound too similar. Despite that, it's still an awesome album, but that all-too-familiar sound wouldn't fly in another release. They may not actually be scientists, but Keith, Chris and Scott were smart enough to know that, so they left their static post-punk formula behind to explore other indie sounds, and they did it very successfully, IMO.
Bottom line, if you loved WL&S, and wish to hear a more mature, experimental WAS, you MUST get Brain Thrust Mastery. 4.5/5
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