Dropping next week is the 5th full-length album from the NYC-based band We Are Scientists, titled TV En Français. If you’re familiar with the band’s previous efforts, then you will undoubtedly be familiar with this new release. That’s not a bad thing, however, considering TV En Français is perhaps the band’s strongest effort since 2005’s With Love and Squalor.
After 2005, presumably due to the loss of founding drummer Michael Tapper, the band lost it’s big/energetic drum sound and transitioned from the indie-punk genre to a comfortable indie-pop… and sort of stayed in that arena since. This time around, allowing Andy Burrows to shine more in the mix, the songs on TV En Français sound more focused and with purpose.
The single “Dumb Luck” is the most rockin’ track, and has already placed itself among my top favorite ‘Scientists’ tracks. “Sprinkles” recalls the big drum fills of older days, with a slight retro vibe and a beautiful vocally-layered chorus that reminds me of the wall of sound that older Smashing Pumpkins used to produce. “Courage” is a bit more of a garage/gritty ballad, somewhat in the vein of early Weezer but with Morrissey-esque melodies.
What stands out most on TV En Français the return of the guitar. Keith Murray’s vocals have always layered and melded with the songs he and Chris Cain come up with, but this time the guitar commands focus with all the inventive riffs and guitar solos. Wait, what? Oh my god, someone did guitar solos. Thank you.
Bottom line: A fantastic album by a fantastic band, and probably the best album since With Love and Squalor. We Are Scientists finally created a follow-up album that is worthy of what they are capable of creating. Strong, purposeful, and often energetic rock that still has heart. I would have just loved to hear a few more upbeat tracks.
Notable tracks: “Dumb Luck”, “Slow Down”, “Don’t Blow It”
Categories: Album Reviews