We Are Scientists
We Are Scientists (also known as W.A.S.) are a New York based indie band comprising Keith Murray (guitar and vocals), Chris Cain (bass guitar and backing vocals) and, until 2007, Michael Tapper (drums and backing vocals). We Are Scientists formed in 2000 and have released three EPs, five Top 40 singles, and three albums, including 2008's Brain Thrust Mastery which reached number eleven in the UK.
The nucleus of We Are Scientists came together in 1997 when Keith Murray and Chris Cain met at Pomona College in Claremont, California. It was here that they hooked up with Michael Tapper who studied at nearby Harvey Mudd College. After graduating they moved to Berkeley and started rehearsing as We Are Scientists. There is much speculation surrounding where the name originated, but the most popular theory is that the band were asked by a U-Haul truck worker if they were scientists to which they regrettably replied 'no'.
After moving to New York, We Are Scientists released their debut album, the self-made Safety, Fun, and Learning (In That Order) in April 2002. We Are Scientists also released three EPs, Bitchin', In Action, and The Wolf's Hour, on their own Checkered Seagull label.
We Are Scientists describe their output as "rock music of the thoughtful, sometimes epic, often loud, vaguely danceable, implicitly humanist variety" and their gigs are notoriously wacky, often featuring jokes and banter between the band and their devoted following.
2005 saw the release of We Are Scientists' major label debut album, With Love & Squalor (Virgin Records), which sold over 100,000 copies in the UK. It featured the singles Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt, The Great Escape, and It's a Hit. Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt was reissued in 2006 and climbed to number 21 in the UK chart. We Are Scientists also performed the song on The Late Show with David Letterman. That year We Are Scientists featured on the NME Shockwaves Tour alongside Arctic Monkeys, The Mystery Jets, and Maximo Park.
We Are Scientists released Crap Attack, a compilation of b-sides and rarities, in November 2006. In 2007, We Are Scientists were nominated for NME Best International Band Award and supported The Kaiser Chiefs on tour.
Long-time drummer Michael Tapper retired from We Are Scientists in November 2007 and was eventually replaced by Adam Aaronson. Keyboardist Max Hart from The High Speed Scene joined We Are Scientists and has since become a permanent fixture.
In March 2008, We Are Scientists released one of their most successful singles, After Hours, which reached number fifteen in the UK Singles Chart. It was the first single to be taken from We Are Scientists' third album, Brain Thrust Mastery (EMI), also released that month. Another Top 40 single, Chick Lit, followed in June 2008.
Having seen original drummer Micheal Tapper leave at the end of 2007 on the eve of a UK tour, We Are Scientists have used, Libertine Gary Powell, and later Adam Aaronson to fill in, before former Razorlight stick-wielder Andy Burrows took over rhythm section duties last year. A renewed focus, perhaps, for their new material, albeit written in the shadow of their 6-episode TV show 'Steve Wants His Money' debuting on MTV.
From October to December last year, Chris Cain and Keith Murray were seen taking a radio porno idea to Edith Bowman at Radio 1, and trying to persuade Alphabeat to be the brand image for their alcoholic drinks for toddlers. Amusing to some, maybe, but clearly with minds on other things, a second series of 'Steve' is apparently imminent, it remains to be seen if 'Barbara' will prove a return to early form.
Released at the start of April, first single 'Rules Don't Stop' serves as the album's opener. Tense verses over jangly guitars contrasts the hopeful relief of the chorus refrain 'Rules Don't Stop Me / Forget About It/ Rules Don't Stop Me / We'll Get Around It.' More 'With Love And Squalor' than 'Brain Trust Mastery,' it's WAS a la 2005. One half geek-chic, the other unorthodox rule-breaker.
Continue reading: We Are Scientists, Barbara Album Review
We Are Scientists return to the table to present their latest wares. Hoping to once again re-ignite what can only be described as somewhat of a stop-start, spluttering, career to date. Rather like some of their British contemporaries (Futureheads/Divine Comedy) We Are Scientists have never quite engaged the public imagination with any great significance. Lacking direction, focus and a certain determination has hindered their quest to popularise their musical creations. Line up changes that have included borrowing drummers from Dirty Pretty Things and now Razorlight have not always helped.
After three studio albums, and one thin compilation of b-sides and covers, We Are Scientists are looking for a kick start. They have not been short on opportunity. Playing at Glastonbury, T In The Park and Reading & Leeds. Supporting the likes of Kings Of Leon and Art Brut. Touring extensively, and included in the NME line up. Championed by many on the radio, and loved for their comical quips, We Are Scientists have had their fair share of chances, as well as exposure.
Continue reading: We Are Scientists, Rules Don't Change Single Review
We Are Scientists
Brain Thrust Mastery
Since selling a respectable 150,000 units of their debut album 'With love And Squalor', American outfit We Are Scientists have lost original drummer Michael Tapper, but that hasn't dampened expectations for this follow-up release. Anyone wanting to catch them on their April UK tour had best act quickly as the majority of dates have already sold out.
Having never been ones to knock out a bog-standard indie tune, WAS stick to the adage of 'if it isn't broke, don't fix it'. Though the record begins in the solemn tones of the appropriately named 'Ghouls', they soon crack out an anthem in the shape of 'Let's See It' which features catchy 'oh ohs' and a riff to match. Recent single 'After Hours' is slick pop, while those in the mood for a dance should check out the bass-based groove of 'Lethal Enforcer'. It is this direction which works particular well and sees the pulsating 'Chick Lit' standout as one of the highlights of the album.
Though WAS have an obvious knack of making a decent song, they don't always get it right, with the punky 'Dinosaurs' and 'Tonight' making little impression. 'Spoken For' showcases a successful mellower tone, while the relentless droning guitars of 'Impatience' make the track reminiscent of Primal Scream's 2006 hit 'Country Girl'. Without really establishing any new ground for the band, 'Brain Thrust Mastery' should at least appease fans of WAS and provide their gigs with a fresh batch of anthems.
We Are Scientists
Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt
I'm sure everyone bought this single back in July 2005 when it was originally released, seeing as how everyone was there at the start, saw the first gigs, and helped make We Are Scientists one of the most talked about post punk, cat carrying, non scientists around. So my work here is done!
In reality, this track shifted very little first time around, and is set for a re-release in the coming month to coincide with their rise and rise in popularity. If you are one of the very few who haven't heard this track which opens their debut album "With Love And Squalor", then there are some things you need to know;
1. They are the first band since The Darkness to have a bassist sporting a moustache (Chris even wears glasses for God's sake!), so they clearly have a sense of humour, which carries through their music - if you don't believe me, check out their website and go to the reviews section, a finer collection of wash basins you will never see.
Continue reading: We Are Scientists, Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt, Single Review