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We Are Scientists: Keith Murray (vocals, guitar); Chris Cain (bass guitar, background vocals); Michael Tapper (drums, background vocals).
Like seemingly every other band from the mid-2000s underground boom, We Are Scientists live in Brooklyn, dress in mock-nerd attire, and subsist on a steady diet of '80s albums by the likes of the Cure, Duran Duran, XTC, and the Smiths. Yet while the trio's music will draw immediate comparisons to similar-sounding contemporaries Franz Ferdinand and the Killers, that doesn't detract from the fun, lean, arty pop-punk that fills out the band's major-label debut WITH LOVE AND SQUALOR.
Economy is We Are Scientists' strong suit: most songs clock in at three to four minutes, and the whole album draws to a crashing close before the 40-minute mark. Likewise, the band demonstrates a sharp sense of songcraft, mixing edgy, angular guitar riffs with sexy, danceable rhythms and topping the combo off with hooky, infectious refrains. WITH LOVE AND SQUALOR won't win any awards for originality, but it is a strong, stylish debut that provides the perfect soundtrack for combing one's hair before a night out in the borough.