CD/DVD (PAL/Region 0) pressing. EMI. 2006.
It says an awful lot about the sly, eyebrow-curled approach of We Are Scientists that this collection of rarities, B-sides, and remixes is christened Crap Attack
. Rather than sounding like a distinctly cobbled-together collection of off-cuts, however, many of these songs have the wit and wisdom to stand on their own feet. Sounding not unlike the Strokes the other side of an irony injection, these New York rockers combine brainiac experimentation with a nicotine hookiness that makes the likes of "The Great Escape" sparkle even after a gentle acoustic reworking ("...Under the Sea") or reshod with marching electronic rhythms, synth squelches, and tapped cowbells ("(The Silence Remix)"). It wouldn't be a rarities collection if there wasn't some space for some amusing oddities--see "Sie Hat Was Vermisst," an epic slice of gothic grandeur and shimmering, reverb-heavy guitars, with vocals spoken in heavy German. But even when they're appropriating other people's songs--see an ethereal take on Sigur Ros's "Hoppipolla," or their reworking of Art Brut's "Bang Bang Rock & Roll" that sees frontman Keith Murray sing "I don't like the sound/Of the Velvet Underground" in classic Lou Reed drawl--they remain endearingly idiosyncratic and endlessly entertaining. --Louis Pattison