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The Experiment

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Album Review

In a word, obnoxious. At least this is the vibe Art Versus Science go for on The Experiment, and they fully succeed in achieving it, leaving it to the audience to decide whether that's a good thing or a bad thing (it's actually both). They're a dance band, but their idea of dance music is anything that makes that booty shake, and so they throw in live drums, funky basslines, and scratchy guitar hooks right next to ethereal synths, video game soundtrack squeaks, MC Hammer-style rapping, and streamlined loops, mixing rock and electronica with the careless grace of a party animal washing down that beer with a shot of whiskey. It's much more effective, though, because the beats are repetitive and the sound is loud and in your face — they basically take one toe-tapping rhythm pattern and an annoyingly addictive hook, and pummel the audience with it incessantly (with minor variations in texture), until the drone fills the entire consciousness — the Daft Punk way. The Experiment doesn't have that robotic elegance, however; for the most part, it revels in kitsch, piling layers upon layers of gloriously primitive beats, melodies, and sound effects, and peppering it with equally silly lyrics like grade schoolers pretending to be indie darlings. Sure, it's meant to be tongue in cheek, but when dragged for too long, the joke begins to look like the real thing; like there's no irony in this bastard offspring of danceable new wave and a Pacman theme. Meanwhile, in their best moments, Art Versus Science can pull off a clever and hypnotic mix of techno and propulsive Krautrock that brings to mind Holy F**k and LCD Soundsystem, or give fellow Aussies Empire of the Sun a run for their money with the romantic "With Thoughts." Those moments show that the guys can go beyond mindless electro-pop and craft a more intricate atmosphere than that of a dimly lit and trash-littered dancefloor if they want to. Unfortunately, that's not very often.

Customer Reviews

My first impression

Lack of substance, animality, anonymity in the crowd, violence.
A representation of youth epistemology in 2010s?
I always change the channel every time Triple J plays their songs.
The worst part is that I can even sense some arrogance in their music.

In Response to Your Responses.

As the title suggests, some of ya'll are missing the point of this album. This album is meant to be secondary to their live performances, and was only really released so people could enjoy all the things they play live, in the comfort of their homes. Dan and the band have said this. They enjoy playing live to a very great extent, but not everyone can get tickets to their shows. Hence some of the tracks on the album being songs that only really fit a live setting. But then you have other songs (like the popular Magic Fountain and newcomer Sledgehammer) which just feel awesome on the album. As Marcus Allison (see below) said, it's an Experiment, maybe some things don't work, but some do and I look forward to what the boys have in store next. One last thing, a band is only as good as its live performances (and the fact that their live songs sound exactly like their produced counterparts, a bit of skill there), I think Art Vs Science have that pretty much covered, don't you? :)


This is not it.


Formed: 2008 in Sydney, Australia

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Art vs. Science are an Australian trio whose sleek, danceable, computer-embellished dance-pop initially compared favorably to acts like Electric Six, Justice, and Junior Senior. Inspired by a fateful night at a Daft Punk concert, frontman Dan McNamee teamed up with his friends and former Roger Explosion bandmates Jim Finn (vox, keyboards) and Dan Williams (vox, drums) to form Art vs. Science in February 2008. The fledgling band hammered together a set's worth of songs and began playing a number of...
Full Bio
The Experiment, Art vs. Science
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Customer Ratings