Thank You Scientist
Stranger Heads Prevail


5.0
classic

Review

by Sebastian USER (76 Reviews)
July 27th, 2016 | 438 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: It doesn’t get much better than this.

It’s been a long four year wait for New Jersey-septet Thank You Scientist’s follow-up to the beautiful ‘Maps of Non-Existent Places’. It’s blend of progressive rock and jazz brought forth a free-flowing and catchy album full of fun and memorable songs. Blood on the Radio’s sprawling violins and trumpets and groovy bass line was a highlight, as too was the instrumental track Suspicious Waveforms and its sections of pure solo bliss for every instrument. And if Stranger Heads Prevail proves anything, it’s that the band aren’t slowing down anytime soon.

Opening track Prologue…A Faint Applause starts much like their debut, with Salvatore Marrano’s vocals soothing us immediately. However, the track is strung along by prominent layers of violin, all masterfully played by Ben Karas. Far more intricate than previous efforts, it ebbs and flows wonderfully, leading well into The Somnambulist. The five-minute track is standard Thank You Scientist, but what’s most noticeable is the production; all instruments weave together wonderfully and nothing feels overproduced or cluttered. Salvatore is clear as day, as too is the always-catchy guitar work from Tom Monda. Follow-up track Caverns opens with a well-worked guitar melody that riffs with the instrumentals, particularly as the first verse hits. The song-writing is tight as ever; the song stops for a brief moment at the four-minute mark, transitioning into a completely different song filled with fast drum beats from Odin Alvarez and guitar lines before a shredding guitar solo to lead the song into its finale.

Of course, Thank You Scientist would be nothing without its instrumentals; Ben Karas on violin, Ellis Jasenovic on saxophone and Andrew Digirus on trumpet all play pivotal roles in keeping songs fresh and exciting. Their use in the intros of Mr. Invisible and A Wolf in Cheap Clothing shows the tightened songwriting TYS have improved on since ‘Maps of Non-Existent Places’. The bass work from Cody McCory is also nothing to pass over; his presence on Blue Automatic and Need More Input is pivotal, and meshes well particularly with the trumpet, saxophone and violin work. What’s most important, however, is that Thank You Scientist haven’t forgotten how to have fun. Rube Goldberg Variations is a nine-minute excuse for every instrument to groove. Much like Suspicious Waveforms, the band take turns letting loose whilst also not overstaying their welcome. The one-and-a-half minute trumpet solo is beautifully executed, as is the violin-bass solos that occur back-to-back. Follow-up track Psychopomp is also an eccentric example of the band’s spark, with a heavy use of guitar pedals and a loud bass line that maintains a heavy presence throughout.

And ever after this 60+ minute record, you want to go back and start it all over again. The tight songwriting, although perhaps not as catchy as their debut, brings forth a myriad of ideas that all mesh so incredibly well. What appears to be a mess of instruments on paper turns into pure bliss full of flowing violin, upbeat saxophone and trumpet, layered vocals and guitars, and memorable drum work. And considering how incredible their debut was, Thank You Scientist have created their best album yet, and you’d have to think it doesn’t get much better than this.

The Best Four:
- Psychopomp
- Caverns
- Rube Goldberg Variations
- The Somnambulist



Recent reviews by this author
Bring Me The Horizon AmoJames Blake Assume Form
Noname Room 25The Amity Affliction Misery
Foxing Nearer My GodDwellings Lavender Town
user ratings (651)
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
MercySeat (4.5)
Thank You Scientist play off the strengths of their debut to create another massively entertaining a...



Comments:Add a Comment 
Drubbi
July 27th 2016


298 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Stream: http://consequenceofsound.net/2016/07/stream-thank-you-scientists-wild-ride-of-an-prog-rock-album-stranger-heads-prevail/



Album is incredible. Going to be on a lot of AOTY lists for sure.

bloc
July 27th 2016


65684 Comments


Wow, I am looking forward to hearing this.

I hardly ever listen to these guys but I remember Maps being quite enjoyable.

Digging: Rochelle Jordan - Play With The Changes

Drubbi
July 27th 2016


298 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yeah, it isn't as catchy as Maps, but it as a hell of a lot more of those 'moments' Maps had, like the opening of In The Company of Worms.

AffableMartyr
July 27th 2016


534 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Great review, seems the vocals are improved on this also. Makes use of all the instruments better giving it more of a put-together sound. Excellent album for sure

DinosaurJones
July 27th 2016


10303 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I can't wait to hear this. I ordered it on vinyl as well.



Also, you misspelled "intricate," if you want to fix that. (2nd paragraph)

LotusFlower
July 27th 2016


12000 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i just cant get into these vocals

Drubbi
July 27th 2016


298 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks for the catch @DinosaurJones



@CL0VER Yeah a friend of mine loves everything but the vocals.

AdoreSwancore
July 27th 2016


124 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I'm intrigued by why people have issues with the vocals. Like as someone who doesn't have issue with them I honestly have difficulty working out what it is about them people don't like to the point that I really want to know.

AdoreSwancore
July 27th 2016


124 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Also I disagree that this is their best (maps slightly edges ahead for me) but despite that have a pos

GreyShadow
July 27th 2016


4829 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album is pretty amazing and gets better with each listen. Mr. Invisible has been my goto for the past few days. It's such a fun song and the verse is probably one of the catchiest parts on the album. Rube Goldberg Variations and Psychopomp are definitely two of their best as well. The only two that have yet to really click with me are The Somnambulist and Caverns but I'm positive that will change. This could very well end up being my aoty.

Digging: AFI - Bodies

Calc
July 27th 2016


16724 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

there are a lot of similarities with this record and PATD's first record, that being said jazz fusion has gotten a little old but this is still really good

YoYoMancuso
Contributing Reviewer
July 27th 2016


14132 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

gonna listen now can't wait. Review is really good!

Digging: Sweet Trip - A Tiny House, In Secret Speeches, Polar Equals

Snake.
July 27th 2016


23003 Comments


hey look it's that guy that rated sempiternal two points higher than jane doe

bloc
July 27th 2016


65684 Comments


Well it is a better album so

YoYoMancuso
Contributing Reviewer
July 28th 2016


14132 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

ok so this record is incredible

DinosaurJones
July 28th 2016


10303 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I want zakalwe to show up and listen to this and shit all over it. Because that's what zak does.

YoYoMancuso
Contributing Reviewer
July 28th 2016


14132 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

^ zak pls

Asmodeuss1990
July 29th 2016


378 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Prog rock and jazz fusion? That sounds so wonderful. I need more jazz fusion in my life because I've barely delved into jazz very much. Gonna check this ASAP.

AtomicWaste
Moderator
July 29th 2016


2848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Awesome album - I may need to give it even more time than I already have, but I felt that Maps was better.

DinosaurJones
July 29th 2016


10303 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yo, you got a shoutout from the band on Facebook for your review.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2019 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy