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With Love and Squalor

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Album Review

While Keith Murray (vocals/guitar), Chris Cain (bass), and Michael Tapper (drums) don a nerdy math-chic look, their glossy indie rock sound is all style. With Love and Squalor marks the band's major-label debut release for Virgin. Sure, fans of Bloc Party, the Killers, the Rapture, and Franz Ferdinand will most likely take to this snazzy 12-song set; however, We Are Scientists offer one element that the rest of the pack does not: more substance than shtick. With Love and Squalor is accessible enough for mainstream alternative rock fans, but also slick enough for those indie rock loyalists who still worship the Smiths. Album opener "Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt" highlights the band's sexiest side with chunky guitar hooks and a flirty, danceable chorus. Murray's nervy vocals are a near match for Gene's Martin Rossiter as he croons, "My Body is your body/I won't tell anybody/If you want to use my body/Go for it." Some might think their introduction is a bit brash, but We Are Scientists immediately succeed in keeping cool and cockiness parallel. "This Scene Is Dead" and "Callbacks" curve around punky, fist-pumping rhythms while "Worth the Wait" and "The Great Escape" toy with art rock aesthetic. Unlike the Killers' Hot Fuss, With Love and Squalor is not a pretentious package. We Are Scientists come off well in being both snide and playful. Finding that balance is what makes With Love and Squalor a solid debut.

Customer Reviews

They are awesome

This band is absolutely amazing. I fell in love with them the second I heard them years ago. Buy this now what are you waiting for :)


Enough said!

Best WAS Album

I believe this is the best WAS album released, and that it's not a close comparrison. If you're looking for a hardish rock sound that doesn't make you feel like an old man for listening to, this is it.

Now their new stuff is of some merit but it is mostly synth sounding, giving it a pop sound. Unlike this album with has somewhat of a rough edge to it. The bass lines are awesome, the lyrics are brutal and the guitar parts combine hard rock elements with indie rock and its quite nice.

This album is all killer no filler and even if its their only album I really enjoyed, I will definitely be keeping it with me for a long time.


Formed: 2000 in Claremont, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Although formed on the West Coast by three California-based college students, We Are Scientists officially took flight after frontman Keith Murray, bass player Chris Cain, and drummer Michael Tapper relocated to Brooklyn and began building a small devoted following. After releasing three EPs and one independent album, the group signed with Virgin Records and released its major-label debut, With Love and Squalor, in early 2006. Although modestly popular in America, the album became a gold-selling...
Full Bio
With Love and Squalor, We Are Scientists
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  • $7.99
  • Genres: Indie Rock, Music, Alternative, Rock
  • Released: Jan 10, 2006
  • Parental Advisory

Customer Ratings