Scientific – From the Nest of Idea EP

Scientific
From the Nest of Idea EP

Scientific is another Chicago band playing indie pop with their own unique quirky style. Musically, the band falls somewhere between the playfulness of The Flaming Lips and the more moody moogy nature of The Magnetic Fields. There’s a lot of ground between those bands, and Scientific bounces back and forth in there, one moment happy and bouncy, the next letting their keyboards take the emphasis of the sound and run with a more synthetic style.

“Strain on My Heart” starts things off perfectly, and while the vocals are less than happy, the song has a very lighthearted and bouncy feel, reminding me quite a bit of The Flaming Lips only with more keyboard used to back up the bouncy beat. “Fully Out of Time” is more rocking, with an emphasis on the vocals, sounding like something the VSS would do, perhaps. But then “An Evening Perhaps” is totally different, far more moody and melancholy, with the keyboards managing to provide lofty, almost organ-style sounds. Now “Not Rarely Inclined” reminds me a bit more of the 80’s loving pop nature of Koufax without going over completely to a retro sound, and “You Wanted Blood” takes on an eerie, intense rock sound through powerful rhythm and movie soundtrack-style keyboard effects. This is the most original song here and probably the one that best shows the direction this band should go, leaning somewhere toward the synthetic nature of bands like The Faint without leaving a determinedly rock sound. The closer, “All for Wild Tiger,” is one of the purest grooving pop songs here, with a danceable rhythm and some groovy keyboards. Christian Wargo’s vocals really shine on this song and sound the most comfortable.

To be honest, it took me a few listens to really dig Scientific’s new EP. At first, I was struck by pop/rock songs that weren’t especially unique and so keyboard was added to spice them up. Now, however, I see that the keyboard provides the synthetic backbone of these songs, and the crisp guitar and pop rhythms are used to supplement the keyboard and vocals. A lot of bands are embracing the more synthetic sound these days, but it’s nice to see a band unabashedly put the keyboards in the forefront and still manage to play pop-rock songs that don’t sound retro wanna-bes in the least. These are fun, poppy tracks that you’ll be certain to enjoy and maybe even groove a bit to.