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REVIEW: We Are Scientists reignite spark with ‘Megaplex’

Dystopian Jangle Pop

We Are Scientists are an indie-rock group who despite changes to their lineup, have maintained their integral core—lead singer/guitarist Keith Austin Murray and bassist Christopher “Chris” Ian Cain, who besides their mutual love of stand-up comedy have enjoyed performing together for almost two decades.

Their sixth studio album, Megaplex, will be released from 100% Records on April 20th. It was recorded in New York City with producer Max Hart, a longtime collaborator who previously worked on the band’s 2016 studio album Helter Seltzer. Together they spark that same kind of goofy energy that fans have come to know and love.

The album not-so-subtly skates along the border of political satire and our technologically advanced reality with dystopian concepts like mind control and subversion.

It opens with the lead single, “One In, One Out,” an uplifting indie-pop track about quickly falling in and out of love. And the music video, which was directed by another of their frequent collaborators, Jedidiah Mitchell, is visually impressive. In it, we see the band who have transported as holograms into this Ready Player One kind of world.

“Notes in a Bottle” is an unexpectedly gloomy track that segues from the somewhat suspenseful introduction to the more lively, upbeat track “Heart is a Weapon.” They follow with their latest single, “Your Light Has Changed,” which lyrically speaks about an obsessive desire for someone who is unreceptive to change. Directed by Mitchell, the music video focuses on some Black Mirror type mind-control where the listeners are trapped in the song.

The Brooklyn natives show their affection for “the city that never sleeps” with the track, “No Wait at Five Leaves,” a somewhat sarcastic title about the popular Greenpoint restaurant, which they follow with “Not Another Word” a synth-heavy dance-pop track which might remind listeners of artists like Head Automatica or Say Anything.

Another noteworthy track, “Now or Never,” comes in with a much heavier alternative rock sound, which really stands out from the rest of the rest of the album. “You Failed” is another display of their comedic wit on this slightly melancholic electronic track about “the test of a lifetime.”

The album closes with “Properties of Perception,” a much more jangly alt-rock track that sounds like Oasis with a little New Pornographers mixed in.

If there is one thing that fans will thoroughly enjoy it is the simple fact that while the band has changed some over the past two years, they are still their same humorous selves. And for those who are first introducing themselves to the band, Megaplex is as good an album as any to start with. For more be sure to check it out this Friday.

RATING: 3.5 / 5

WATCH: WE ARE SCIENTISTS – “YOUR LIGHT HAS CHANGED”

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