We Are Scientists
"With Love and Squalor"

(Virgin Records 2006)We Are Scientists - With Love and Squalor

With all of the hype and talk of We Are Scientists, it is difficult to believe that "With Love and Squalor" is only the Brooklyn trio's first full-length release. Coming out of the box swinging from the first moment, We Are Scientists deliver bouncy riff rock that can not conceal soaring melodies and thumping rhythms that want to send you to the dance floor. Ten years later, Britpop gets a New York facelift.

We Are Scientists' drummer, Michael Tapper, keeps "With Love and Squalor" interesting as his playing sets the mood throughout. The slower melody of "Can't Lose" is undeniably catchy, drawing you in deeper as "Callbacks" takes a rougher, rawer rock approach and "Inaction" goes retro with some crashing and rolling instrumentation. Guitar riffs twitter and sing on the more reserved ballad "Textbook" while, elsewhere, guitars squeak on the pulse quickening tracks that are spread throughout the album like "Worth the Wait," "Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt" and "This Scene Is Dead." Bassist Chris Cain also plays an important role as his thumping instrumentation adds the extra energy to the smooth melody of "Lousy Reputation" and the pounding closing track "What's the Word."

The band lives up to certain expectations but fall to others. "With Love and Squalor" pounds with a heavy hand and sets you spinning on the quick melodies but does not offer the variety or staying power that a debut release perhaps should. Regardless, "With Love and Squalor" has that certain something that makes it likable and enjoyable. But it looks like the Scientists still have some tweaking to do to their secret formula.

B

buy it!