For a debut album, We Are Scientists’ With Love And Squalor is, if nothing else, catchy in a familiar way. The sound has been done before by bands such as The Bravery, Hot Hot Heat and The Killers. That doesn’t mean this unadulterated glam-pop trio’s fast-paced beats and jerking guitar riffs won’t bring forth impulsive dance moves, however.
Beginning with the energetic track “Nobody Move, Nobody Gets Hurt,” the album consistently lingers between indie rock and pure pop. Chances are, if you fancy the first song, then you’ll like the rest of the album. In true scientific format, each song follows the same formula, although scattered within the album are a few songs, such as “Inaction,” “Worth the Wait” and “Textbook,” that surprise the listener with a bit more ingenuity.
Bassist Chris Cain lays down some pretty artistic bass lines, and singer Keith Murray’s pleasant vocals help keep With Love And Squalor from sounding too much like similar offerings in the genre. Along with consistent drummer Michael Tapper, the trio seems to have its timing down brilliantly.Based on first appearances, I did expect a little more from this album. A band can have wit, the nerdy scenester look and lots of rock ‘n’ roll fire in the pants, but if the music sounds like everybody else, the effort is bound to be a little disappointing. The band doesn’t lack talent, but also doesn’t stand out as anything original. The name We Are Scientists might provoke listeners to expect something artsy and experimental, but in spite of the band’s unoriginality, there is nothing wrong with catchy, danceable indie pop.