We Are Scientists, Astoria, London
Monday 17 April 2006
It's very We Are Scientists, that. If you take them as geek-rockers in a Weezer-cum-Ween vein, it's no surprise that WAS aren't above playing the old split-the-crowd game. They're witty pranksters, and their quick-and-dry stage banter is almost as funny as their website is. And from their slash-and-bawl indie-punk songs, to their 37-minute debut album, to their rapid rise on the back of seven tours in a year, they do everything at such a pace that a break-up wouldn't seem out of keeping. The T-shirts on their merchandise stall say "Trust us, we are scientists", but would you buy a bag of used geek-rock from a band in such a hurry? Yes, if you can gauge an answer from spoonfuls of their fans' sweat tonight.
You don't need a PhD to see why. Arriving on stage to the sound of thunder cracks, WAS lunge like lightning into "This Scene Is Dead", a speed-of-youth song about being too drunk to score, but continuing drinking in denial of the fact that you're going home alone. It's typically arch of WAS to open their set with a song about the end of a night, but it is perfectly angular and wry material for a none-too-sober crowd.
If the roots of WAS are in geek-rock, they cloak it cleverly with Killers-sized choruses (perhaps too much so on the "Mr Brightside"-esque "Worth the Wait"), Franz Ferdinand-ish smarts and shifting rhythms that lift speeded-up tricks from innumerable punk-funkers. The wit they add to this sound is winning, as well, not least because it's a far cry from The Killers' pouting earnestness.
But why the rush? WAS are quick and clever, but you wonder if prolonged exposure will reveal that the repetitions (wiry verses, beefy choruses) that they rely on are less than the sum of their parts. They close with "The Great Escape" and stick to a no-encores policy, getting out while the going is good, but leaving the impression of being likeable yet too fast to really love. Perhaps they should try slowing down. Then we can take a closer look at the merchandise.
Game of Thrones
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
- 2 Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
- 3 Celebrity Big Brother 2015: Tila Tequila kicked off show after 'describing Hitler as a good man'
- 4 iPhone 5c to be discontinued, no iPhone 6c to replace it
- 5 Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
Game of Thrones season 6: Jon Snow theorists believe Ned Stark's son may have a twin sister
Artist takes LSD, draws herself over different stages of the 9-hour trip to show its effects
These Harry Potter lipsticks are sparking all sorts of controversy with Hogwarts fans
Game of Thrones season 6: Director promises most exciting premiere yet 'starts off with a bang'
Hunted: Channel 4 to test 'surveillance Britain' by taking Big Brother to sinister new lengths
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Iain Duncan Smith calls for urgent ESA overhaul as part of drive to cut down welfare costs