Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Matt Oliver, Mastered by Sam Patlove
For years now, the men of Brooklyn band We Are Scientists have been peddling amateur advice and spot-on reviews of eateries and things, on their website. Or is it the exact opposite? They review roadside BBQ trucks in Vermont that just so happen to claim great brushings with the late Levon Helm stories and the three "scientists" recommend actions to questions that come in via the mailbag - questions so absurd that you wonder what kinds of people listen to the band's music, and it's the music that everyone knows them for, primarily. For instance, you read something like this:
query: There happens to be llama/ravioli in my pants. I don't want to get him out, nor do I want him dead. My only question is, how can I adjust my choice in pants to better accomidate the llama/ravioli's presence? If my pants anger him, he yells at me.
It sounds to us like you are straight tripping balls, friend — straight tripping balls! The problem may lie not with the llama or the ravioli, nor even with the pants, but with the fact that you appear to be straight tripping on your very balls.
Our advice is that you concern yourself primarily with the whereabouts of your balls so that you can ultimately spend less time tripping on them. Truly, you're like a detective who has stumbled onto the clue that will crack the case, except you've stumbled right onto your own balls.
The only thing that can be determined is that these people are straight up mad and then you wonder how it is that they keep these people entertained with indie pop songs about being nice guys and promising that they're not biters, no matter what anyone else is saying about them. Mostly, lead singer Keith Murray, bassist Chris Cain and drummer Andy Burrows do it by continually pushing the concepts of their songs into strangely bizarre incarnations, even when it seems like we should understand them easily. They are three-minute pop songs, slathered with hooks and witty tenderness, and then you see a video treatment and get under the skin of the song a little and you feel like you've stepped into a very convoluted, complex mess of higher order psychology or something that's up there - something that makes you feel smarter, while doing nothing for your intelligence. Theirs seem to be missions for the greater good of mass entertainment, all the while using as many fake blood capsules as they possibly can, growing a good, healthy mustache and leaving it attached for years, leading folks astray with gobbledygook for words of wisdom, smiling big, 100-watt grins, and writing to amuse themselves first and foremost. It seems to work quite nicely.