Sound Advice: We Are Scientists at MOTR Pub (June 23)

Infectious and hilarious Alt Pop Rock group plays a free Cincy show in support of its new 'Megaplex' album

click to enlarge We Are Scientists - Photo: Ted Leather
Photo: Ted Leather
We Are Scientists
There’s no question how guitarist Keith Murray and bassist Chris Cain view their musical output: their website is bannered with an overarching title that trumpets, “We Are Scientists – A Rock Band.” As with most things in life, quantifying the musical direction of We Are Scientists is slightly more complicated than a simple internet proclamation. How exactly can you describe an Indie Rock/Post Punk band that formed in California, moved to New York and is hugely popular in the U.K., partially due to a seven-episode comedy series that ran on MTV UK?

Murray and Cain met at Pomona College in 1997 and formed a band in 1999 with original guitarist Scott Lamb (Murray drummed and sang at that point). After returning to L.A. without Lamb, they brought in drummer Michael Tapper, Murray shifted to bass and We Are Scientists was officially launched.

The group’s self-released 2002 debut album, Safety, Fun, and Learning (In That Order), was recorded after relocating to Brooklyn. The band’s major label debut on Virgin Records, 2005’s With Love and Squalor, gained them a cultish U.K. fan base, not to mention a Gold record certification.

Murray and Cain originally bonded over a mutual love of stand-up comedy, and their collective sense of humor became a large component of We Are Scientists, something evident in their howlingly hilarious stage banter. For some of the band’s dates prior to the release of 2008’s Brain Thrust Mastery, they opened their own shows as a self-help group moderating seminars. And in 2009, the pair came up with the comedy series Steve Wants His Money; the plot revolves around the musicians’ significant debt to a man named Steve, their exile to England and their attempts to erase their IOU with a variety of marketing schemes.

Over the years, We Are Scientists has incorporated more Pop and Electronic elements into its sound, as evidenced by 2016’s Helter Seltzer and the just-released Megaplex. Through it all, the band has remained committed to a foundation of blistering Indie Rock and an underlying sense of sly humor that guarantees they’ll never take themselves as seriously as they take their music.

Click here for more on this free show.