We Are Scientists - With Love and Squalor (Cover Artwork)

We Are Scientists

We Are Scientists: With Love and SqualorWith Love and Squalor (2006)
EMI Group

Reviewer Rating: 2.5

Contributed by: AnchorsAnchors
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Not so much as bothering to distance themselves from their new wave-inspired peers in the Killers and Hot Hot Heat, We Are Scientists administer the hooks in what is really a painfully obvious and predictable fashion. Like the annoying little kid from down the street that just loved to tag along whe.
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Not so much as bothering to distance themselves from their new wave-inspired peers in the Killers and Hot Hot Heat, We Are Scientists administer the hooks in what is really a painfully obvious and predictable fashion. Like the annoying little kid from down the street that just loved to tag along when you were younger, you can hear them coming. Gleefully stampeding with no true sense of restraint, With Love and Squalor is the musical representation of that little kid.

It's uncanny how all bands of this fiber find a flamboyant, obnoxious vocalist. A vocalist that sounds like a siren when they really get going, in a very disconcerting wail, overpowering all that has the misfortune of being around it.

It's not all bad though, no, far from it actually. Under those vocals is a band brimming with post-punk intensity just waiting to explode. The rhythms are a tightly wound bundle, at any given time, primed and ready to snap, unleashing a buzzing whirlwind of distortion upon anyone listening. It's that intensity, seething at the surface, that makes the actual music so engaging. The jangly rhythms often combine with bluesy riffs to create a multi-dimensional sound that works for the band. And this is all fine and well while it's happening, but ten minutes after the album is completed, there's not much to remember.

"Textbook" is a much slower song, one of the few that does leave a distinct impression. The vocals are toned down quite a few notches, to a point where Keith Murray sounds like he's actually singing, in fact, he's singing quite well. And the instrumentation is a lot less turbulent, offering a more grounded approach that lets the vocals be at the forefront, but in a beneficial way this time, not just because they're louder than everything else is. The guitars shimmer and the drums keep a tight beat, while both Chris Cain and Michael Tapper contribute some solid backup vocals.

Before long it's back to the much more dancy aspect of the record, with "Worth the Wait" sounding like it could have easily fit in on the last Hot Hot Heat record. Not the worst thing in the world, depending on your feelings about them, but We Are Scientists definitely needs to work a bit more on fleshing out and developing their own identity. "Textbook" was a large stride in the right direction, but they need more.

I don't want to say the band is underdeveloped, maybe misguided is a better label at this stage in their career. They buzz with intensity, and are comfortable changing their sound up a bit, so once they really find themselves, this will be a band to look for.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
renaldo69 (January 10, 2015)

Album rules. You didn't even touch on the badass songs on the record...


GreenVandal (April 19, 2006)

You have never been more right in your life. I'm so proud of you.

Anonymous (April 19, 2006)

its official. green vandal is a cry baby and is insecure about his education

GreenVandal (April 19, 2006)

How am I suppossed to know your joking? The sarcasm in your voice? oh wait...

Anonymous (April 18, 2006)

i am getting my masters degree at the end of may. no big fucking deal. another 30,000$ frame on the wall.

Anonymous (April 17, 2006)

i guess you need graduate school to take a joke?

GreenVandal (April 17, 2006)

I hate to tell you this, but most people learn how to comprehend words sometime in elementary school. That comes BEFORE college. I think it's sometime after you learn how to finger paint. If I wanted to show of my junior college degree I would do something like mention Sigmund Freud for no apparent reason.

Anonymous (April 17, 2006)

now dudes talking about reading comprehension. watch out, someones showin off their junior college degree

GreenVandal (April 17, 2006)

? If you didn't notice I just said that I DID NOT know and I was just talking shit. Perhaps you should work on your reading comprehension skills.

Anonymous (April 17, 2006)

i think its more funny that greenvandal says he has been to enough schools to have completed a Master's, but only has an associates, and at the same time brags about how easy college is. I'm sure its just that you're too smart to stick to one college and no courses are challenging enough for you right? el oh el for christs sakes

GreenVandal (April 17, 2006)

at the moment my major is english of the art variety. I plan on minoring in japanese and becoming a localizer until my "other endeavors" propel me to stardom. Or not.

For anyone who reads my posts alot, you must think its kind of funny how poorly i type on here when I'm supposed to be a writer. I know i do.

Anonymous (April 17, 2006)

i hate art fagzzz

Anonymous (April 17, 2006)


what is/would be your major?

Anonymous (April 17, 2006)

i think the new song is great..................
sorry dunno what to write ....

Anonymous (April 16, 2006)

more like we are cunts

GreenVandal (April 16, 2006)

Ok. I'm off setting my shit talking by admitting I only got an associates. I'll get back to everyone on if it's really so hard after I get to the masters part (which I could have been almost done with if I didnt constantly switch schools and majors)

Even I have a tolerance for how much anonymous bullshit I can talk :D

GreenVandal (April 16, 2006)

Not really. I have one.

the_other_scott (April 16, 2006)

A college degree means that you are good at memorizing shit out of books

no, that's a high school degree. a college degree, at least in most cases, is a somewhat difficult thing to achieve.

GreenVandal (April 16, 2006)

"Quit hatin' and go write a stupid blog on myspace."

I'm pretty sure that any college kid who can relate to this dribble is also blogging about their latest drinking binge on myspace. A college degree means that you are good at memorizing shit out of books, I really dont see how that is relevant to your awful tastes in faux indie rock.

the_other_scott (April 16, 2006)

hey dude below. i have a college degree, and...

1. this band bores the shit out of me
2. nobody i know that went to college would ever use the term "hater-aide"

Anonymous (April 16, 2006)

I would have to say that a lot of you must of drank your hater-aide before writing your comments. If you don't like these guys sound than you should get your ears checked. I don't even like indie rock that much but yet these guys drew me in. Whenever I need to get hyped for something I'll turn on "In Action" or "The Great Escape". If you have been to college(university), which I can see most of you have not, you can relate to most of these lyrics. Quit hatin' and go write a stupid blog on myspace.

Anonymous (April 16, 2006)

i actually think this album is pretty good. i heard about them through the lonely island website and wasn't expecting to like the whole album, but i do. these guys and the futureheads are the best out of these dance rock type bands, i think.

Anonymous (April 16, 2006)

this band fucking sucks their a fucking poser band and suck dick!!!

Scruffy (April 15, 2006)

The bassist in my band's sister heard about this on the radio and asked him if we were putting out a split with some British band.

Anonymous (April 15, 2006)


hour drive since the NYC show sold out, cant miss this tour tho, gotta go gotta go

givemeamuseumandillfillit (April 15, 2006)

I actually talked to these guys randomly while in germany, they were really good guys and i was really surprised when they said they were in this band. They didn't come off like snobby art school kids at all.

swank (April 15, 2006)

I saw these dudes on TV and they seemed like super arrogent art-school kids who think the invented everything.

But...they have Akiva Shaffer directing alot of their videos.
and the album cover is kind of neat.

so in my "everything except the music itself" review, these guys are sort of a toss-up.

backupdork (April 14, 2006)

we listen to this bullshit all the time at work, and it gets stuck in my head for days at a time.

the singer isn't british, is he? he tries so hard to sound british, which is the only thing worse than actually BEING

Archangel (April 14, 2006)

I'm glad to see someone else has picked up on the Salinger reference. I might have to agree on it being the best of the stories, also.

GreenVandal (April 14, 2006)

I love Kitties!!!!!!!!!!!

They are so fucking cute!!!!!!!!!!!

I still dont want to listen to this though, even if it IS Bill Nye approved.

Anonymous (April 14, 2006)

the drummer, Tapper, actually went to my school, and graduated as an engineer...so in fact he IS scientists. also, they used to have an identity, their older stuff was ridiculously wierd, song titles like "mothra vs. we are scientists," "ode to star L23," and "The Method"

Anonymous (April 14, 2006)

This band totally sucks. It's really hard to believe they had some buzz going for a while there.

Anonymous (April 14, 2006)

They took the album title from the best J.D. Salinger short story: "For Esme - With Love and Squalor"

sickboi (April 14, 2006)

I'm with you Scruffy. Cats are assholes. I hate how they just sit and stare at you, then once and while try to come rub up against you, but not in a happy way, more of a commanding way.

I hate my girlfirend's cats. So does my dog.

Scruffy (April 14, 2006)

I am not a cat person. My wife and I have a cat and a dog, and I much prefer the dog. Our cat is evil and hates people. She does things to spite me, and then gives me looks that say "What are you gonna do about that?"

Anonymous (April 14, 2006)

Score's for the album cover, specifically the cats. Cats rule, dogs drool.

Anonymous (April 14, 2006)

I haven't seen a good review in weeks, c'mon review some good shit. Will, Brandon, Jesse...review the goodies!

Anonymous (April 14, 2006)

Just so everybody knows, the major labels will keep pushing this shit on us for at least 5 months after EVERYBODY is sick of it. So please stop liking and buying this shit NOW. I can't take another 6 months of this flamboyant/dance/punk/new wave crap.

darkstarm (April 14, 2006)

I like cats. I do not like this band. Who would've guessed it.

Medley (April 14, 2006)

I don't need to read the review or listen to the album. Just the band's name and that cover art irritates me enough to know they suck.

Anonymous (April 14, 2006)

even andrew lloyd weber would think these guys are fags.

Anonymous (April 14, 2006)

I'd have to say WAS is alot better then most of the stuff like this out right now

sirens (April 14, 2006)

well damn, that was supposed to be funny. fuck it.

sirens (April 14, 2006)

Note to reviewer:

you should have stated QUOTE:

flamboyant, obnoxious vocalist. A vocalist that sounds like a sirens when....

ThreeChordsAndTheTruth (April 14, 2006)

Yeah, I doubt these guys knew the Cap'n Jazz song.

I cannot wait till the current indie trend (I thought this died with The Strokes?!) goes away.

Jesse (April 14, 2006)

I like to pretend that it's not a Cap'N Jazz reference, and instead, a reference to the first line from "Amoeba" by the Adolescents...

"We are scientists in a lab..."

But yeah, it's probably a Cap'N Jazz reference, and pains me that mediocre to horrible bands rape the corpse of a good one for one reason or another.

FYI - You're not paying tribute to a great band by naming yourself after one of their songs if you suck.

benz (April 14, 2006)

is this a cap'n jazz reference or just a coincidence?

Timis (April 14, 2006)

very good album

Anonymous (April 14, 2006)

Why do bands with Cap'n Jazz references in their name always suck?

InaGreendase (April 14, 2006)

This album really isn't too bad. Fairly catchy and likable for how ridiculously trendy it is.

You're dead on with the HHH comparison for that one song, though.

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