We Are Scientists comprises of Keith Murray, guitar and lead vocals; Chris Cain, bass guitar and backing vocals; Michael Tapper, drums and backing vocals. EMI. 2005.
With their daft facial hair and questionable fashion sense, tank-top sporting Brooklyn supernerds We Are Scientists resemble those eccentric mathematics lecturers one use to see on Open University in the early 1970s. Do not be deceived by this veil of foolishness, for With Love and Squalor
is a splendidly dexterous debut, a lubricated salvo of trim pop-punk cramming 13 songs into an honorably waffle-free 36 minutes.
Obvious touchstones include Franz Ferdinand (on fun setting) and the wit, jerk, and pop inclination of XTC circa Drums and Wires
and Black Sea
. Exploding into action with the adrenalin swoop of "Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt" and "This Scene Is Dead" and taking in such other fine moments as the reggaefied "Can't Lose" and the Terrorvision-meets-Buzzcocks "Callbacks," the album nods to the mope-rock of the Cure on the philosophical experience-is-the-best-teacher procrastination of "Textbook." With Love and Squalor
places We Are Scientists in line for this year's Nobel Prize for punk-pop novelty. --Kevin Maidment