Review Summary: We Are Scientists are finally back and as stagnant as ever.
New York based indie/post-punk enthusiasts We Are Scientists created a fair share of hype surrounding their 2014 release Tv En Francais
, announcing its initial creation two years prior and releasing a bevy of new live tracks and even a seven inch record back in July of 2013. The album was finally slated for release on March 3rd of this year, and upon its release was greeted with mixed reactions, none of which were unbiased, as their 5th full length album proves to be a mess of an album if there ever was one.
Full of bland and tired tremolo picking and melancholy lyrics detailing the failed relationships of lead singer Keith Murray, this release does little to differentiate itself from past offerings of the band, leading to an album that is a chore to listen to in its entirety. Typical forgetful songs blend into even more forgetful songs, showcasing what we have all heard before, but far worse. Songs such as album opener “What You Do Best” and the ironically titled “Slow Down” attempt to spark energy into a placid album, to little avail, coming off as entirely too forced. Elsewhere a down tempo approach is employed, which is almost entirely hit or miss. Songs such as “Return the Favor” burn slowly and create an interesting atmosphere through prominent bass and falsetto vocals, while penultimate track “Don’t Blow It” is a bloated track that tries to be too much all at once.
But this is not to say that this record doesn’t encompass certain sparks of intrigue, but they are few and far between; the second track “Dumb Luck” opens with a fast paced guitar riff that wouldn’t be too far out of place in any classic rock song, making for a quirk worth listening to. Until it is repeated so many times it begins to grate on listeners. The main hook in “Overreacting” follows this same formula, as when heard the first time is a welcome change in tempo and boasts a tasteful bass line, but as the hook drags on with too much going on underneath it, it loses its proverbial umph
As typical an album as there is in the so called “post-punk revival” Tv En Francais
seems to prove to be, if not the final, one more nail in the coffin of We Are Scientists. It seems as though Murray and company have lost their penchant to consistently create catchy, interesting and fun tracks. While not complete devoid of musical merit, this release is not anything worth writing home for, a shame for a band that showed so much potential early on in their career.