Gig Review by Fran Prince with Photography by Bianca Barrett

We Are Scientists

Dynamic, New York based rock indie duo, We Are Scientists, enveloped Birmingham’s O2 Institute in an enigmatic sound unlike that of their former albums. New album release, Helter Seltzer, explores a fusion of electronic, punk and hard instrumental rock that has propelled them into a distinguished artist worthy of a venue much larger than the Institute’s 2nd room.

We Are Scientists

Admittedly, I’ve lacked attention to their recent material, expectant of a hasty replay of naughties tunes such as Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt and It’s A Hit (which both took residence within playlist) I leant vacantly against the barrier to review a band I vaguely recognised.

We Are Scientists

Infused in a lengthy instrumental intro and the moody lyrics of This Scene Is Dead, I regretfully felt my ear drums pulsate at the blaring bass shooting out of the speaker opposite me. But with new lead single Buckle, I became responsive. Energised by its pop chorus and electrifying rock vibes, the fanatic crowd rightly made the board’s quake beneath me and mouthed every word back at Keith Murray and Chris Cain, whilst I stood almost embarrassed by my absence in the bands movement since their early work.

We Are Scientists

Intermittently mocking the American understanding of us Brits, they somehow managed to refer to Birmingham as a ‘Shire’, whilst the audience seemed slightly concerned they may have took a detour through the peak district before arriving at the venue.

We Are Scientists

Chick Lit avenged my ignorance and created an eerie, heavy rock mood reminiscent of Muse. The band continued with its unpredictable set from catchy songs like Impatient, to undemanding tracks like Make It Easy.

We Are Scientists

Comically attempting to address Brum’s latest politics, the pair mistakenly believed the phrase “Junior Doctors” may mean child surgeons of some kind, and whilst they gained a small surge of laughs, Cain proudly took a support strike sticker from an audience member which unfolded a roar of approval from the audience.

We Are Scientists

We Are Scientists

This Door Is Always Open encouraged the pair in a melodic synchronisation of repetitive lyrics and strumming, whilst the encore called for an anticipated Cash Cow with a nostalgic resemblance to Kaiser Chiefs edgy pop rock and new song Too Late, which held a synth toned echoic vocal from Murray.

We Are Scientists

The amalgamation of genres this band has developed over the years has re-established them amongst the alternative rock scene, and Helter Seltzer is sure to surge the deserving band back into our playlists once more.

We Are Scientists

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