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Post Rock Defends the Nation

Bon Savants

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Album Review

If Broken Social Scene had come not from Toronto, but from the brainy enclaves of Cambridge, MA (where leader Thom Moran is a research scientist at MIT), they would have sounded quite a bit like the Bon Savants. With tongue in cheek lyrics heavily informed by Moran and guitarist Kevin Haley's day jobs — the title track is about their time working in Germany after the end of the cold war, "I Am the Atom Bomb" concerns the conflicted feelings of the scientists who split the atom, and as a local in-joke, the title of "Mass Av and Broadway" namechecks the east-west boundaries of MIT itself — and a with name that means "good scientists" in French, the band has the potential come off as a sort of clique-ish giggle, not unlike, say, hockey-themed pop-punks the Zambonis. However, Moran has an unexpectedly appealing voice and conversational singing style that's far removed from the angsty whine of so many contemporary indie rock singers and a perfect vehicle for his smart, funny lyrics. Similarly, the band takes the placid atmospheres and slow-building dynamics of post-rock and sharpens them into concise three-minute pop songs with prominent hooks and actual choruses. A deeply satisfying debut, Post Rock Defends the Nation proves that bands can be book-smart and musically accessible at the same time.

Biography

Formed: Boston, MA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Without support from a record label, the Bon Savants managed to create a healthy buzz around themselves and secure opening slots with such indie rock favorites as Pretty Girls Make Graves, Rogue Wave, and Editors, while self-releasing a debut record in late 2006. Led by vocalist/guitarist Thom Moran (a part-time rocket scientist at MIT), the seedling of the band began in the mid-'90s, when guitarist Kevin Haley and Moran were temporarily residing in Frankfurt, Germany. In 1997, the two were back...
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Post Rock Defends the Nation, Bon Savants
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