We Are Scientists - Helter Seltzer

by Nathan Fidler Rating:6 Release Date:2016-04-22

The pace of early We Are Scientist songs belied their pop sensibilities, but now, on their fifth album, Helter Seltzer, they wear this proudly and have even used the album title to dub the genre of pop they feel they represent.

Owing as much to the indie-rock bloom in the 00s as sweetened 80s pop, ‘Buckle’ opens the album to show off the same glittering guitars and chorus work we’ve come to expect. It’s a great earworm, picking up where their previous album left off.

The further you explore this album, however, the more you’ll notice the deliberate step to an almost Hall & Oates style of pop you can drive to (see ‘Too Late’). The album is broken up in this manner, with tracks like ‘Classic Love’ sticking to a thumping drum beat and thick rhythm guitars, while the acoustic guitar based ‘Want For Nothing’ is a brilliantly calm in it’s melody (this track also shows off considered and well thought out composition).

‘We Need A Word’ keeps the tempo level, but seems to dwell too long because of this, much as ‘Headlights’ suffers from a predictable and slow echo of “I point my headlights at you”.

There is a bombastic element added on this album which feels a little unwelcome. The relatively singular pace combined with more straightforward lyrics ultimately disappoint. Die hard fans are unlikely to shun them for the move, it still retains their charm, most notably on ‘Waiting For You’, but it doesn’t do justice to the smart rock they seemed to promise previously.

‘Hold On’ highlights their penchant for a little electronic work, but also holds the pick of the lyrics in “Girl be unimpressed, you and all your unfair assumptions, this is for the best, just as long as you care for something”.

Ultimately, this is a short album, and if you really liked the lead single ‘Buckle’ you might not want to travel much further. Whilst not phoned in by any means, it remains to be seen how this band will progress, choosing to slowly to transform into an indie-pop band.

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