While they haven’t produced anything since their 2008 album Brain Thrust Mastery, We Are Scientists have always occupied a good amount of airplay at Tuppence HQ. After hours was class beyond measure, however, the second album wasn’t the contained unit of excellence that With Love and Squalor, their debut album, was. It’s a hit, Nobody move, nobody get hurt & The great escape’s brilliance propelled the New Yorkers into our conscience with over 100,000 copies of their first album selling within the first couple of months of release in the US.
With Barbara, their third album, on its way the release of Rules, the first single from the LP, signals the return of We Are Scientists. Sadly, upon first listen it’s a bit of a let down. It’s got non of the driving intensity that made their previous singles so punchy and the music, lyrics and video are shoddy.
All that said, it’s still sort of catchy and each time I listen to it, it gets a little more under my skin, but I think it’s just a phase and it will pass as it gets more radio air. When the catchy runs out and I get a bit bored of hearing its shoddier qualities I’ll only have their older music to turn to… unless the new album can pull it all around.
Barbara (sadly not named after me mam), is out in June and will hopefully do for Rules what First impressions of earth did for The Strokes’ Juicebox.
The rest of the Rules EP includes no better track Down the hall and an acoustic version of Rules, which is a distinct improvement on the single version.
Overall, the EP isn’t great, but with love and squalor, Barbara could be the saving grace for We Are Scientists in 2010.
We Are Scientists, Rules EP review: 2.2/5
(Still love them though)