Move over Indie Rock! Now there’s something Indie-er-er!!! This is the music that Hybrid Magazine was put together to showcase. Rock that people would undoubtedly listen to, if they only knew that it existed. That said, Scientific takes all their indie rock sensibility and turns it upon its sugary sweet ear. Taking the indie rock shtick to an old new experimental-ish level, this band of noisemakers combine a lo-fi sensibility with a pop cunning not often found in underground circles. This record is not perfection, but it has moments that come close to that goal.
"Strain on My Heart" is a supremely poppy tune, including some damned fine tambourine work. Although filled with depressing lyrics, this song is so full of joy musically that you have no time to stop your foot’s tapping to dwell on the downside of the story. "Fully Out Of Time" is surprisingly reminiscent of the early Cure records, with it’s college rock guitar sound and static keyboard line. Lyrically, it is a fairly redundant and uninspired track. The music, however, flows seamlessly into "An Evening Perhaps," a song built around a solid foundation of B-3esque organ. It is a substantial track that builds into a beautiful piece that seems just about to break into the vocals, when the track ends. No vocals, and that’s not a bad thing. "Not Rarely Inclined" feels like a fairly straightforward pop song, but with trademark indie attitude, including one of my favorite tricks, the repetitive droning-one-note-keyboard-line. The chorus is built on a fantastic progression, and is a fine example of a bit of music you will probably catch yourself singing over and over again. Wonderfully pleasant Wurlitzer sounding keyboards begin "A Valued Judgment," until the dissonant notes creep in and make you feel the need to wretch. Then it runs right into "You Wanted Blood," a nice little rock song full of choppy music and abrupt lyrics, which all contribute to the feeling of mounting tension and psychosis from the mind of a killer. I tend to lean towards music that mellows me out, rather than music that makes me even tenser than I sometimes tend to be, and so this song is a little harsh to my ears. "All For Wild Tiger" is a bit left of center for me, with lyrics about goals having no direction, and music that seems to follow that creed. But the song redeems itself with a brilliant ending, and earns an A, not only for the song, but the album.
Let it be said that at about track 6, I may have finally figured out what these guys were all about. There is a pleasant over all quality to this little record, both musically and lyrically, with a certain few exceptions. I maintain the stance that these fellows, and girl, listened to quite a bit of early works by the Cure… especially evident on songs like "You Wanted Blood." The record’s sound is that of a bunch of kids being very experimental whilst maintaining a good sense of pop music and its appropriate uses.
If you are a fan of the Flaming Lips’ Soft Bulletin, or some early Fall material, or perhaps even the Cure’s early drone rock, then I think you will enjoy this little outing from Scientific. On a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being Shellac and 5 being Overwhelming Colorfast, I would have to give this record a 3- right around Yo La Tengo’s less than stellar moments.
- Strain On My Heart
- Fully Out Of Time
- An Evening Perhaps
- Not Rarely Inclined
- A Valued Judgment
- You Wanted Blood
- All For Wild Tiger