Gearing up for the release of new album Barbara, New Yorkers We Are Scientists got their campaign underway in Hoxton. While it perhaps isn’t the most anticipated record of the year, the gig sold out in a ridiculous two minutes, demonstrating that they’ve still got some pulling power.
Now, for those who’ve seen the band before, We Are Scientists are renowned for their onstage banter. It’s part of their appeal. And some things don’t change. Providing an antidote to the endless acts who come on stage; play songs; leave stage, band mainstays Keith Murray and Chris Cain – complete with fetching ‘tache – don’t shut up for the duration. As bottles of beer behind them are lined up and knocked back, they take the piss out of each other and they take the piss out of the audience. They definitely take the piss out of new drummer, Andy Burrows, formerly of Razorlight, who knows his place and stays quiet throughout.
Older tracks like The Great Escape and Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt sparkle as the boys remind us that they’re more than just another indie rock outfit. Material from Brain Thrust Mastery, including Let’s See it and Chick Lit, seems better now than it did at the time. And the new stuff? It sounds pretty good on first listen. I Don’t Bite is based on a typically addictive crunching guitar riff while forthcoming single Rules Don’t Stop doesn’t stray far from what we know and expect of the band. The three of them make a devastatingly good sound with great harmonies and Murray impresses with a strong vocal performance.
The set ends with an utterly brilliant After Hours, cementing the opinion that the previous album was a grower. Marking the gig’s conclusion, Murray drunkenly clambers on to the drum kit before wiping out Burrows. Although, having drummed for Jonny Borrell, perhaps he’s experienced worse.
There might not be too many surprises when Barbara gets released, but it’s going to keep fans ticking over nicely as we get another injection of their enjoyably light, spiky pop-rock into our lives.