You can’t beat that uncanny combination of indie rock with glitz and this is something that We Are Scientists have always done effortlessly well and no more so than on their latest offering. ‘Lobes’ is the Californian duo’s eighth studio album and is a follow-up to last year’s ‘Huffy’ LP and is (unofficially) the edgier, more mischievous older sister of ‘Huffy’.
The band have helpfully revealed that ‘Lobes’ is “the name of a cereal of black spheres invented by (bassist) Chris Cain (don’t ask!)”. But, is it love at first bite when it comes to ‘Lobes?’. Not entirely, but like their cerebral namesakes, this album also grows over time with a second listen.
The electro pop stylings are still there, but this sonically is a smidge darker and grittier by contrast both in the musical arrangements and production. It’s certainly more expansive than their previous work with a more textured electronic sound. ‘Human Resources’ is a synth-driven floor-filler with an infectiously funky bass-line that sounds like the lovechild of The Midnight and New Order.
‘Operator Error’ is an intoxicating, hook-laden feel-good bop that hits in all the right places with an impossibly catchy chorus with withering lines like “Cut the shit / enough of this / Do you believe me? / Don’t pretend to doubt it’. Tracks like ‘Settled Accounts’ with its shimmering synths will unequivocally go down a storm at festivals this summer as will ‘Less from You’ – an exuberant indie pop dance floor filler with a real indie-sleaze bass line that has a real Pet Shop Boys vibe to it.
Whilst ‘Lobes’ doesn’t reinvent the lobe shaped wheel, this is an effervescent funk-laden album which will certainly brighten up those dark January evenings thanks to its soaring choruses and memorable melodies.
Words: Emma Harrison