We Are Scientists ‘Helter Seltzer’ Review


After 15 years of wandering through the twist and turns that the music world can throw at you, indie rock duo We Are Scientists are back with their fifth studio album ‘Helter Seltzer’ due for release this Friday.

Never ones to shy away from the bizarre and brilliant, Keith Murray and Chris Cain produce an album which reflects over their extensive career as they move forward with the most touching, most powerful and most musically adventurous album so far.

Getting the album started, ‘Buckle’ teases a few surprises for what is to follow. With intricately worked guitar solos and harmonious vocals delicately laid, track 1 acts as a trailer for the ten track ‘Helter Seltzer’. Never ones to take themselves too seriously, the music video features Keith throwing various objects, including glass bottles, orange juice, a pie and an egg, all at Chris Cain’s well kept moustache as he just takes the hits. With the main line of the chorus ringing “lets make this interesting, I want you to bottle what you think of me”, you can’t help but think the track takes a look at the pair’s friendship rather than a love interest of some sort.

Drawing on the idea of love and the usual complex tribulations it often throws up, ‘Helter Seltzer’ explores them in as many ways possible simply by altering the tonality of the track. ‘In My Head’ continues with the guitar heavy verses teased in ‘Buckle’ with the addition of hard hitting staccato drums, indicating that WAS are still, at the core, an indie rock band.

Delving into the theme of a lingering lost love with a catchy pop chorus to divert away from the touching lyrics only for ‘Too Late’ ‘Hold on’ and ‘We Need to Have a Word’ to come along in the albums most heart felt tracks and wind things down to a sense of sadness as the lyrics explore low points of love.

By the albums mid-point, a feeling of something that has been hard thought for has ultimately met its demise and indicates that all hope is lost as ‘Want for Nothing’ proves to be the power ballad of the album. The melancholy track begins with an acoustic guitar as harmonised as Beatle-esque backing vocals float delicately above the rest of the track, giving the perfect blend of electric guitars and keyboards to take the limelight.

The second half of the album shows a sudden turn around as though the aftermath has caused the phoenix to rise from the ashes. ‘Classic Love’ is relatively short and bridges the gap to more rocky-er tracks like ‘Waiting for You’. ‘Headlights’ builds up tension, drifts away with vocals, takes a sudden drop of hard-hitting indie guitar thrashing and finishes by slamming the breaks at break-neck speed.

Bringing the album to an end, ‘Forgiveness’ brings all elements from the 9 previous tracks and expertly blends them all together. It’s a ballad like ‘Want for Nothing’ its powerful like ‘In my Head’ and ‘Too late’ and features the best solo on the album as teased in ‘Buckle’. Ascending to a rising crescendo they simply finish the album with a clattering of symbols as the grand finale cements the most touching work from the duo to date.

You can see more from We Are Scientists here


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