ScientificLifestyle - The Arrow EP
Label: Mean Red Music
Release Date: July 24, 2007
It's hard to be unique in Los Angeles, the town where everyone is trying to stand out. L.A.'s electro-tinged rock outfit ScientificLifestyles is trying their best, but are they making it?
Frontwoman Nicole Porter has breathy, flowing vocals that complement the sparse guitars and offset the rather heavy handed drumming on The Arrow EP. Opening with "Flight 273," the music sounds a bit like a blast from the past - it wouldn't have been out of place on a soundtrack like Empire Records.
"Glee Slipper" is where the electronica tag of their Myspace shows up in full force, but even here it is not overpowering. It's often hard to understand what Porter's lyrics are - the background vocals tend to compete with hers. However, her voice is pleasant enough that it almost doesn't matter. On this track, the '90s stylings of Porter's voice blend very nicely with the '80s sound of the instrumentals. The song climaxes with a dance breakdown, which would have been a lot more fun had the mixing of the drums been better executed. Still, one can see that it would translate well in a live show. The band slows down for "Chinatown Swan," a very pretty pop ballad. Unfortunately, the midi programming leans toward elevator music on this track. Again, Porter's lilting vocals redeem the song.
The final song, "Or," finds a much happier middle ground between rock and electronic programming. It's the catchiest and most well-produced track on the album. Both the vocals and the instrumentals are clearly heard, and none are done to the point of cheesiness heard on earlier tracks. Overall, ScientificLifestyle's major redeeming factor is their vocalist Porter. The songs themselves are not as unique as an L.A. band needs them to be in order to get noticed. Hopefully Porter will be able to find a way to let her voice be heard through other avenues.