From the beginning it was clear they weren’t the types to wait wait for fans and success to come to them. Quickly showing they were willing and able to get their name out there, playing over ninety nine shows in Europe and North America and releasing two EP’s. With musical influences ranging from the Buzzcocks, Hot Water Music and Superchunk, but with very polished melodies Not Scientist’s have crafted a truly tense and sophisticated punk rock sound.
This album manages to have a feel that is both fresh and familiar at the same time as Not Scientists have tried to create a new sound by drawing from some of the most famous, well known stylists and musicians around. Combining vintage amps with clean crunchy guitars and some of the catchiest bass lines and riffs I’ve heard in ages, the band really do the 70’s UK punk sound justice. Opener, ‘Window’ unfortunately doesn’t do the rest of the album any favours and may have worked better as it’s wind down song. The melody is pretty but ambiguous and just doesn’t prepare the listener for the outstanding rhythms to follow.
If you are on the fence and close to giving up on this record listen to ‘Broken Pieces’. The track will pull you right back in again. The homophonic Billy Talent style vocals create such an amazing platform for the guitar sounds and almost duelling bass. This sound and song are how Not Scientists made a believer out of me. As well as Billy Talent, The Cure also clearly had a heavy influence on the track; the steady patterns of bass to guitar showing a perfect mirroring of ‘A Forrest’.
‘Over and Out’ is another song that really sticks out. And one that sees all of the influences on the record gather into something that might be the start of Not Scientist’s own sound. Again, the crisp guitars coax the melody along and allow for quaint modulations.
‘Wait’ is somewhat reminiscent of a Here Come The Birds song I used to bop around to as a teen, but but with a strong Police reggae feel thrown in from start to finish. The syncopated guitar and stressed vocals being particularly reminiscent of the later’s style.
Unfortunately even though Not Scientists musical talent is so clear to see, this entire album, bar two songs, seems to be borrow from familiar and well used sounds a bit too much. The album has a strange flow to it and sort of brings to mind a compilation CD your best friend would make you. You find yourself struggling to find an original “band sound” in every one of the songs. This was a tad disappointing as when I listen to an album I want to hear something that could only be heard by listening to that band. Instead ‘Destroy To Rebuild’ seems to give little excerpts of Not Scientist’s favourite bands. Hopefully Not Scientists next effort will see them take the step to finding a sound entirely their own.
‘Destroy to Rebuild’ by Not Scientists is out now on Kicking Records, Delete Your Favourite Records, and Torreznetes Entertainment.
Words by Ailish Ryan