We Are Scientists
Even when their songs are at their most derivative -- they must have strained to hold back from launching into "Somebody Told Me" in the middle of their song "Cash Cow" -- We Are Scientists sound more peppy than unoriginal. Even so, the album suffers from a few predictable debut problems: songs so speedy they nearly trip over each other; a formulaic songwriting approach (straightforward verses paired with wailing choruses); and an overproduced guitar sound.
But despite such rookie mistakes, the Scientists find ways to put their own spin on borrowed sounds. "Lousy Reputation" melds Cure-like vocals with a plaintive chorus and a glossy, swirling guitar. That relentless guitar sound is almost inconsequential on the album's most unpredictable track: "Textbook" is a toned-down ballad that emphasizes singer Keith Murray's mopey Morrissey croon with a faintly thumping bass line.
-- Catherine P. Lewis