As far as dance-inspired rock bands go, We Are Scientists have always been decidedly gritty and a little low-fi’ kind of like a dirty Duran Duran.
The New York duo’s fourth album, “Brain Thrust Mastery,” is solid in musicianship and songwriting, but lacks the urgency and excitability of its 2006 release, “With Love and Squalor.”
The album’s single, “After Hours,” is great’ a quick, driving rock song with layered guitars and soaring lead vocals by Keith Murray. “Ghouls” and “Let’s See It” are fair additions to “Brain Thrust Mastery”‘ a little boring, but enjoyable. “Lethal Enforcer” trowels on thick globs of dance putty, filling in the cracks that have formed since Eighties groove merchants Human League and Naked Eyes departed the scene.
The darker “Tonight” has an almost industrial feel during much of the song, which is punctuated with a deep synth line and bold bell tones.
“Brain Thrust Mastery” is a good follow-up record for the band, but this better be a calm before the storm. Hopefully the duo will ratchet everything up for the next release.