Helter Seltzer is the fifth album for quirky indie rock group We Are Scientists, and it’s turned out to be a bit of a corker, if a little different to the usual stuff the band releases.
By Jane Howkins
Whilst generally known as a rock/indie band, Helter Seltzer moves further into pop/rock territory, which is not necessarily a bad thing. The songs are still highly guitar based and the rock influences are present, but the album is also peppered with huge choruses and catchy harmonies. Case in point being Too Late, as it’s a song that still belongs firmly within the indie-rock genre. Yet it would be perfectly natural to hear the track on a popular radio station as well, being perhaps one of the most mainstream songs the band has ever done.
To repeat, that really isn’t a bad thing, as the songs presented here are simply excellent. Songs like Headlights and Classic Love manage to keep some of the band’s previous indie sensibilities, with catchy guitar riffs present.
Helter Seltzer is pretty minimalist too, but in a different way to previous albums. Preceding albums were conservative due to the fact that the songs generally seemed to feature only bass, vocals, drums and one guitar. With their latest release, there’s a little bit more going on in terms of what’s happening in the background. However, it still manages to be a lot less busy than We Are Scientists albums usually are.
Again, that’s not a bad thing, and if you can accept the idea of the band evolving and changing ever so slightly, then Helter Seltzer should be a nice surprise, albeit one that might need a few more listens than usual to get into.
Special mention goes to the first song of the album, Buckle, which might just be one of the best things the band has ever written, and is definitely worth listening to, if nothing else!
We Are Scientists album Helter Seltzer is out now.