We Are Scientists- Lobes

by | Jan 23, 2023 | Reviews

We Are Scientists Lobes


FTA first reported on the infectious disco-infused synth bass driven “Less From You,” the sleaze dance party single from We Are Scientists, back in the fall (read here) and we’ve been locked in for the ride ever since. For years their catchy songs about being damaged and the excesses of youth/young adulthood have captured hearts and minds while also having had the unique opportunity to grow up alongside their fans. And their eighth album, Lobes, explores the journey the band has been on during those years.


Vocalist/guitarist Keith Murray said via a press release “there was definitely a period in my life when I thought being jaded was cool” going on to say “I was incredibly steadfast in my beliefs.” Having had his pessimism proven wrong so many times in life, Murray says it’s been impossible to “really maintain that full-throttle cynical outlook into adulthood. Sure, whittling down my pessimism has meant that I don’t get to enjoy the peculiar pleasure of having my own rotten expectations subverted quite as often, but ‘Less From You’ celebrates the greater delight of having my already-high hopes exceeded.”


We Are Scientists portrait

We Are Scientists (photo by Dan Monick)


The album’s lead single, “Operator Error,” a song that the band says is about how Murray “has a big mouth” which he confirmed by elaborating “I have a tendency to deliver hot takes and to get extraordinarily overheated about utterly inconsequential things,” features the tenants of their classic sound but in a more refined and mature way than the singularly guitar driven sounds of their earlier work. Indeed, the song serves as a bridge between their previous lighter release, Huffy, and the darker Lobes, letting you know right away what the album is about. Swimming in chunky synths and a dance-driven bassline, it serves as an entry point to the album which is their synthiest and most electronic record to date.


The band says the album was born out of an exuberance of enthusiasm and euphoric creativity that resulted from recording and producing that last record themselves from their Midtown Manhattan studio amidst the Covid lockdowns. They share that “the lyrics for Lobes were written over a stretch of two to three years. Though the origins of the first songs began around the same time as Huffy, they exist in entirely different musical universes.”



The ensuing singles served to offer even more texture to the band’s range of influences. A slower groove, “Lucky Just To Be Here,” goes from quiet and contemplative to epic and sweeping and back again in just under five minutes, showcasing all the things this band is great at—big emotions and deep grooves all wrapped into one. “Settled Accounts” flies high on the disco stratosphere and pairs perfectly with the disco romp of “Less Than You,” both with straight out of the 70s nightclub bass lines courtesy of bassist Chris Cain.


Other highlights include “Turn It Up” a slice of straight up sexy dance pop about seeing how far you can take it with a new lover reminiscent of their early party time anthems “I wanna see this thing bend/ Just as far as we can both withstand/ I wanna see this thing bend/ So, can we let it keep getting out hand?” Its opposite is perhaps “Miracle of ’22,” which closes the album out. This is much less a party and more a tune that offers a reflective take, exploring the chaos and confusion of the world we currently inhabit and the grinding painful feeling of never being able to escape but still having a grain of hope, maybe. While dark, it is surely something we can all relate to particularly over the last several years of everything we have collectively endured: “I guess I’m running out of time/ I’m gonna have to make my move/ If I somehow make it out alive/ It’ll be the Miracle of ’22” eerie sounding autotune on Murrary’s voice amplifying the feeling of being lost.


We Are Scientists is a band that has always been fun and dark and groovy and chaotic all at the same time; their anthems to youthful excess and drunken decadent partying are classics of the early aughts that still resonate today. They have grown a lot over the course of eight albums and keep re-inventing themselves in the process, but somehow the songs on Lobes have the familiar feel going all the way back to their first album, With Love And Squalor. The songs serving as a warm welcome and a reminder that the gritty underbelly of the city (and its nightclubs) is never far away and neither are the blood and emotion pumping through our veins.


Lobes is available now and available on all major streamers. The band is currently on tour in support of the album, see our coverage of the release show.



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