The search for "the next big thing" is undertaken by indie bloggers and music journalists the world over on a daily basis, and many times that "next big thing" becomes a big dud in short order. Last year, The Bravery received big press in advance of their debut on Island. Turns out that it took only one listen for most folks to write them off as derivative garbage packaged for unsuspecting music buyers. Kasabian, The Caesars, and Louis XVI are other examples of crappy bands being given undeserved love until folks had the opportunity to look past the hair gel and leather pants and actually listen to the music.
Which brings us to New Yorkers We Are Scientists, an indie rock three piece that has had their debut released on the not so indie Virgin Records. The fact that they hail from New York ratchets up the hype even more so, as the vibrant rock scene in The Big Apple, buoyed by New York bloggers like Brooklyn Vegan, Central Village, Stereogum, Yeti Don't Dance and I Rock I Roll cover indie shows with a blanket large enough for every venue in the city.
So, how is the album? Can it live up to the hype? Is We Are Scientists the next big thing? In a word, maybe. The band members are a patient bunch--forming in 2000 and releasing several EPs before finally landing with a label and putting out an LP. Many elements of the album suggest a fully mature band; one in which all members know their defined place in the group, and very little stepping on of toes. However, while the album is fantastic in spots, it is a maddeningly frustrating tease in others. They remind me of Green Day in some ways, most notably on "This Scene Is Dead", which is not necessarily a compliment, but I find their soft punk elements far less grating than I do their more famous counterparts.
The album's first single, and the one most recognizable by discerning indie rock nerds is "Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt". The song features a brain invading guitar hook that singer Keith Murray provides as the frame for his desperate vocals.