"Brain Thrust Mastery" by We Are Scientists

We Are Scientists
Brain Thrust Mastery

Astralwerks
2008

Review

Keith Murray (no, not the rapper) writes like the guy that all the girls love but who is completely unaware of that fact. Except when he gets drunk and wakes up next to some random girl. Then suddenly he realizes he's kind of a jerk...well, at least that's what his lyrics would lead you to believe.

The first WAS record was pop music with really heavy guitars. This record bucks the trend of getting heavier on the next record and instead embraces the remember the 80's trend. Oddly enough the tracks that embraced that sound the most are the ones that worked best for me and were rewarded by being played on repeat for a couple of months.

The album opens with Keith as his self-effacing persona repeating over and over:

"We all recognize that I'm the problem here"

Well, actually on that particular track the problem is that it seems more like an intro that really doesn't go anywhere. The other track that doesn't work is the 1950's influenced "Spoken For". Keith's voice works best against a backdrop of loud distorted guitars and heavy bass lines (and synthesizers, apparently). Thankfully these problem tracks aside, this album finds WAS pretty much back to business as usual except for the 80's influenced standouts "Let's See It", "Lethal Enforcer", "Chick Lit", and the egregiously George Michael amping "That's What Counts" - replete with "Careless Whisper" saxophone. The remaining tracks are more consistent with what they established on their last record and are straightforward pop/rock songs.

The lyrics here cover familiar ground for WAS with songs about getting drunk and getting the girl ("That's What Counts"), being too drunk to go home ("After Hours"), calling a girl for a booty call and feeling guilty about it ("Tonight"), trying not screw up being with the girl ("Let's See It") , telling the girl to take a chill pill ("Impatience") and - in what amounts to my favorite subject brought up by Mr. Murray on the album - threatening to break up with the girl so she'll fall in line ("Lethal Enforcer") - to name a few.

The album represents a more thought out and layered approach than what was on their first album. Whereas that album was heavy guitars, heavy bass, and pulse-pounding drumming this one is all of that slowed down and with extra instruments added to it.

Listen to this album if you want to do know what to do about "the girl" =P, or just if you want to listen to some good layered, poppy-rock that never takes itself too seriously.

4.000 out of 5

Track Ratings

1. Ghouls (02:57) 3
2. Let's See It (03:55) 5
3. After Hours (03:52) 3
4. Lethal Enforcer (04:41) 5
5. Impatience (03:14) 3
6. Tonight (03:41) 5
7. Spoken For (03:01) 3
8. Altered Beast (03:56) 4
9. Chick Lit (03:54) 4
10. Dinosaurs (03:36) 4
11. That's What Counts (04:19) 5