Newest Review: ... up surrounding it, but if there were, I am pretty confident the album has lived up to expectations. The cover art, first of all. I real... more
Call it a Complex, Its really quite simple
With Love And Squalor - We Are Scientists
Member Name: AllyPally1991
With Love And Squalor - We Are Scientists
Disadvantages: The song order
We are Scientists are an indie band from New York. At the time of the release of their Debut Album (well technically sophomore album), "With Love And Squalor", the band contained 3 musicians - Keith Murray on guitars and vocals, Chris Cain on bass and Michael Tapper on drums. The album was released in 2005 and developed a relatively large cult following soon after, mainly due to the band's unique website (wearescientists.com. Check it out!)
WAS did release a rare album before "With love And Squalor", called "Safety, Fun And Learning (in that order)". However, "With Love and Squalor" is widely regarded as their debut due to the rarity of the original LP. If anyone can tell me where I could buy a copy of their first LP, it would be greatly appreciated - I've been searching for it for months with no luck!
From a personal point of view, I love We Are Scientists, and personally I feel that this album is a grower. The more you listen to it, the more you can identify with, and in my opinion that is what makes it great. The band are all the traditional 'sci fi indie geeks', but instead of growing up and getting jobs, they decided to go into the music business. Even the title of the album is a classic reference for any English nerd (such as myself) to one of JD Salinger's short stories.
The album contains a number of classic singles. The opening track "Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt" was my most played last.fm track for the best part of 3 years. Its such a timeless track which anyone can identify with, and its no surprise that this is the key track on the album. Personally, I would have switched the positioning of this song and "Great Escape", just because I think the Great Escape has a better opening.
What cements the album together is the use of these amazing riffs and catchy hooks. The riff at the beginning of Nobody Move is brilliant, and I think the hook of "My body is your body/I won't tell anybody/if you wanna use my body/go for it" sounds so amazing on the album, and even better live.
However, although I love Nobody Move, I think that the second single off the album, "Great Escape" has one of the best openings I have ever heard to a song. It draws you in, and is so powerful. The vocals on that track are also amazing, but I think it lacks the personality of Nobody Move, Nobody Gets Hurt. Neverless, once again the hooks in the song are as addictive, especially the repetition of the line "I can't" throughout the song until it climaxes with a variation of the line (which I will not repeat as I'm not 100% sure what Dooyoo's policy on profanity is!!). The denoument of the song is one of the best you'll ever hear, it just sounds almost painfully passionate.
The other single off the album, "Its a Hit", is a good track, but I've got to say its not one that I find myself going back to again and again. It contains all of the other key features from the other singles, but they don't combine as fluently in this one. So for me 'its not a hit" (oh I'm so terribly witty...)
For me "This Scene Is Dead" would have been a more worthy single. It is a bit different to the rest of the album, but it is one of the songs that I love most. It has personality by the bucketful, and though the intro is a bit long the song in general works really well. The lyrics connect a bit better than those in 'its a hit', with lyrics like "Come on you can't go home, The night is young, I'm blacking out, but it's been fun" reflecting the darker side of the album. It is a good indicator of the sound of their second (or third. Or Fourth, depending on whether you count Safety, Fun and Learning or Crap Attack) album.
Inaction and Lousy Reputation are in my opinion the weaker parts of the album. They're the songs which could have been great, but they just fall short of really achieving their potential. Inaction is less of a disappointment for me, more just a below par song, but I think the lyrics and underlying riffs in Lousy Reputation make the end product really disappointing for me, just because they could have done so much more with it.
Cash Cow is a rather forgetable song, but is actually surprisingly good. I think that if there was one song on the album which I would rename, it would be this one. For some reason, I don't connect the name to the song. The song, however, is fantastic, with this powerful chorus. It is different from many of the other songs, but not in a disappointing way. If it wasn't for Keith Murray's overpowering accent, this song would not sound like a We Are Scientists song at all, but I sort of like that.
Can't Lose and Textbook sound quite similar, in that they're the slower songs of the album, with a similar riff. If I had to listen to just the one, it would be Can't lose. Textbook tends to get lost in the soiree after the magic of "Great Escape". For me, this is another case where the song order doesn't work well.
I think that what the album on occasion lacks is continuity. It jumps between fast and slow songs a bit too much for my liking, and whilst there are quite a few gems within the album, as a whole piece it falls down slightly. Surprisingly, one of the best songs on the album is also one of the last. The ironically titled "Worth The Wait" is a stand out song for me, mostly due to the immediate entrance of the vocals. I think this song summarises everything which is right with this album. Its riffs may not be on par with those in Great Escape, but it has more personality.
I think that this album is a show of the potential of We Are Scientists, as opposed to their skill. Whilst in my opinion they have yet to better the heights of tracks such as "Nobody Move, Nobody Gets Hurt", the second album (as in "Brain Thrust Mastery") is on average an improvement on this outing. The compilation album which occurred in the middle of the two is of a lower standard, and I would say only a necessity for the We Are Scientist enthusiast.
My love of this album was not at all influenced by my love of cats and crush on Keith Murray. Ahem.
1. "Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt" - 3:12
2. "This Scene Is Dead" - 3:43
3. "Inaction" - 2:32
4. "Can't Lose" - 3:31
5. "Callbacks" - 2:02
6. "Cash Cow" - 2:35
7. "It's a Hit" - 3:26
8. "The Great Escape" - 3:18
9. "Textbook" - 4:01
10. "Lousy Reputation" - 2:35
11. "Worth the Wait" - 2:43
12. "What's the Word" - 3:17
Summary: Fantastic "debut" album by We Are Scientists