As an artist the last thing you want to hear said about your work is the phrase ‘diminishing returns’. For some avoiding it is more difficult than others – imagine for instance if the Arctic Monkeys had peaked at Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not – but then even the best career trajectories generally experience some creative decay over time.
We Are Scientists’ quest to avoid getting put in the ‘oh yeah, I heard of them once’ box has been a harder one than most, chiefly because their 2005 debut album With Love & Squalor was one of the outstanding releases in the early 00’s New Yawk scene’s post Imperial phase (Strokes, Interpol, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Lizzy Goodman’s Meet Me In The Bathroom).
Long now established as a duo, Chris Cain and Keith Murray are with Huffy releasing the fifth We Are Scientists album since those fevered times, one on which they again prove that not taking yourself too seriously is key to longevity in the music industry. On it they deliver another batch of songs showcasing their lyrical wit and sleek, angular pop/rock (or is it rock/pop), via the likes of Sentimental Education, Contact High and Handshake Agreement and only when the pair deviate from their own formula on the cheesy Bought Myself A Grave do things go noticeably wrong. Huffy is..fine. Much better than ok, but not quite great. When you’ve made it to the point of being in charge of your own destiny, you get to decide if that’s enough.
You can read a full review here.