We Are Scientists - Barbara
Record Label: Virgin Records
Release Date: June14th, 2010
I really love hilarious jokes. All types can fly with me when they are delivered right; knock-knock, satirical, puns, limericks, risqué, inside jokes, chicken crossing a road, anecdotes and paradoxes. Sometimes I even laugh when there is clearly nothing to laugh at. The downright silly gets a great response too; why did the mushroom go to the party? Because he was a fungi. Oh man, that’s really good. Hahaha. Yeah, We Are Scientists love a good joke too. They even admitted that they nearly split up the band early on in their career to become stand up comedians. Imagine that? They would have made a lot of people laugh. They make me laugh a lot. Especially with this new release entitled "Barbara".
The philosopher Immanuel Kant once presented the definition: “Laughter is an effect that arises if a tense expectation is transformed into nothing”. Well, that anecdote applies here. We Are Scientists are starting to run out of ideas. That tense expectation is becoming heightened with each release. First single and album opener “Rules Don’t Stop” is a barrel of laughs with its upbeat tempo and rebellious tone. “If we're breaking the rules its fine/I disregard this kind of problem all the time/It's not as if it's gonna’ kill anyone/If there's no victim then there's no crime/Just draw another if you think we've crossed the line”. They introduce the flirty Barbara here (and new drummer Andy Burrows, formally of Razorlight) with the type of tune we all have grown to love them for.
The album clocks in at just over thirty minutes and comes equipped with excellent relationship advice and general hilarious jokes in the album linear notes. But generally we buy an album for the music and it seems to be lacking in this department. Hits like “I Don’t Bite” and “Nice Guys” provide some catchy tunes to grab on to and move your head with, but they are just nice and not anything overly special. “Pittsburgh” is one of the most solid efforts and is a song that already established fans can relate to as it is another truly enjoyable WAS song, but it is still too similar to most of the second record. The lyrics “We’re only after one thing, we’re only after one thing, ohh, ohh” give an insight into a band that have partied hard on their tour of the world, and they really do not want this party to end.
It is important to point out that there are no really bad songs on this record. There is just not much substance left in the combination of tried and tested vocals, drumming and guitar work. As the album title may suggest, Barbara is a middle age woman holding on to her fun filled memories of youth. When a music fan picks up a copy of a We Are Scientist’s album, they are not expecting the next U2 or Brian Eno, but a bit of newly developed sound would now go down a treat. It really has gone stale here on Barbara. Maybe it is time to make the choice once and for all between comedy and music? Ha fucking ha.