Fast-paced drums over-reliant on hi-hat and snare? Guitar that sounds distorted but not quite entirely distorted like maybe the speaker is split a little bit and its making a buzzing noise? Band members dressed in the kind of dress clothes you might pick up at a higher class op shop? It must be early-noughties indie-rock!
I joke, but it did feel like there was a massive trend toward these elements in the early 2000s – see also OK Go, Maximo Park, The Strokes, Franz Ferdinand. We Are Scientists snuck mostly under the radar, but I discovered them through their music video for opening track “Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt” in which the group are hunted down by a man in a bear costume.
It’s actually funny that they came up in the same week as Pluto; I wonder if part of the reason I dismissed Pluto back in the day was that I felt like they were doing a bad copy of these kind of acts.
With Love And Squalor still holds up – the aforementioned opener is pretty great, though I prefer second track “This Scene Is Dead” (‘[Arrested Development voiceover] It wasn’t.’) and late album singles “It’s A Hit” and “The Great Escape”.
Not a challenging listen by any means, but enjoyable nonetheless. And it’s made me want to go back and listen to some of those other bands from the time.
CLTM (Chris Listens To Music) is my attempt to listen to a new album every day; you can follow my efforts on Instagram here (and send recommendations), and if you like what I’m doing, support my efforts by shouting me a cuppa at Buy Me A Coffee.
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