We Are the Physics - We Are the Physics Are OK at Music (Cover Artwork)

We Are the Physics

We Are the Physics Are OK at Music (2008)

This Is Fake DIY

Hidden beneath trim and proper modern Scottish indie acts (Belle & Sebastian, Camera Obscura) and mainstream breakouts (Franz Ferdinand, Snow Patrol) lurk We Are the Physics. The group calls itself "mutant science punk rock" and it's a somewhat fitting title. Their songs are full of high energy over sensationalized yelps of mad science and paranoia that conjure up thoughts of plastic flying saucers on strings, forced perspective giant gila monsters and title cards that contain superlatives written in big lighting bolt font.

With their long overdue debut LP, the band continues to wear their new wave influences on their sleeves (or just under the lapel, in the singer's case), but it's the `50s monster movie aesthetic that seems to be making them stand out. Most patrons of this website will probably scoff and call it a gimmick, but creativeness is creativeness and the campy hi-fi horror elements added to the production really do make it that much more fun. Even the physical album unfolds into a little cardboard diorama. It's corny as hell, but also inventive and actually make a CD worth buying again.

Most may not have heard of this band yet, and it's those who will get the most out of this album. Hearing the stuttering spaz attack, "Less Than Three" for the first time is an exhilarating experience. At least, it was for me when it was first released...back in 2006! Don't get me wrong, the aging singles like "Fear of Words" still pack a punch, but it would be nice for a band that's been kicking around for two years to put out more than 20 minutes of new material. At least re-record the songs for the album...but they couldn't even bother to do that. Even worse, two of the nine new tracks don't even span a minute combined. Old tracks included, the entire album doesn't even break the 30-minute mark.

The sparse new material at least packs in just as much energy and madness. "You Can Do Athletics, BTW" is a batziod "Eye of the Tiger" on Pixy Stix. Networking is like peering into a young Mark Mothersbaugh's brain waves. A couple abstract numbers ("CYT #1" and "Pylons + Other Modern Art") are a bit of a surprise as well. If you dig punk rock with a lot of haphazard guitar riffs, and stuttering / nonsensical vocals, this album will be like your very own all syrup Squishie.

We Are the Physics have a long way to go before they can stand alongside their idols. Whether they choose to become as musically tight as Man or Astro-Man?, versatile as Polysics or experimental as Devo, it's going to be hard work, and I sure hope they are up for it. At this point, the band should be taking their next step, but they've only made it to album number one. Congratulations on the album, boys. Now straighten those skinny ties and get back in the lab!