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Hackney Wonderland Festival Announces Line-up

  • Published in News

Back for its third year the five venue Hackney Wonderland festival has announced Yuck as one of the event headliners. Tickets for the East London event are still available here at the early bird price of £20, covering both days of this year's expanded event (October 15 - 16).

Also on the bill you can expect to find Johnny Lloyd, Saint Agnes, Tempesst, Paradisa, Asylums, Desert Mountain Tribe, John J Presley, Paves and Alice Jemima.

The Cherry Cola Club curated event has already advertised its other headliners as Mystery Jets and We Are Scientists along with the lower order of the bill being populated by Lucy Rose, Jim Jones and The Righteous Mind, Kitty, Daisy & Lewis, Stealing Sheep, Hooton Tennis Club, Crocodiles, Is Tropical, Jake Isaac, Demob Happy, Syd Arthur, Misty Miller and The Shimmer Band with, obviously, more to still be announced nearer the time.

The venues involved are Oval Space, The Laundry, London Fields Brewery, The Sebright Arms and The Pickle Factory.


We Are Scientists - Helter Seltzer

  • Published in Albums

Banter, so much banter. Known almost as much for their ridiculous sense of humour as their energetic indie music, New York’s We Are Scientists have released their fifth album Helter Seltzer. The opening track ‘Buckle’, and its accompanying music video, are almost self-referential in this respect as (main) vocalist and guitarist Keith Murray states: “I want you to buckle when you think of me.”

Taking a step back in time to recap on the story so far: the band’s 2005 debut With Love and Squalor was a piece of guitar-led perfection, 2008’s follow-up Brain Thrust Mastery was refined and suave in all the right ways, 2010’s Barbara slapped the “indie” thing right on the nose, and 2014’s TV en Français was just a little disappointing. The negativity towards the latter stems from a general feeling that it missed the mark, and that’s pretty much that.

However, do not fear! The jovial duo have produced the goods on record number five, by combining in some combination of percentages all that came before Helter Seltzer is an empowered album with a bewildering artwork.

Presenting itself as a sequence of hits, the album is essentially a collection of guitar-led classics. Starting with preceding single ‘Buckle’, the tone is set much in the vein of the band’s debut album as Murray’s vocal and an electric guitar dominate. Rather appropriately, the following track ‘In My Head’ is somewhat reminiscent of the band’s second album with its more lush production and layers. Another single follows in ‘Too Late’ which is nothing short of infectious, and on par with the band’s best singles to date.

’Hold On’ and ‘We Need A Word’ and solemn and emotive somewhere in the realm of ‘Spoken For’ of ‘Pittsburgh’, whilst the latter employs a guitar style not a million miles from ‘Textbook’, with this charming contrast signalling it as one of the record’s stand out tracks.

The album’s second half is very much a romantic album by content, with Murray detailing various aspects of his emotions throughout, from his patience in ‘Waiting For You’ to his desires in ‘Headlights’. ‘Headlights’ is an energetic proclamation made all the more emotive via some enjoyable vocal harmonies. In contrast, ‘Want For Nothing’ is a charming acoustic number, preceded by the exciting twist and turns of ‘Classic Love’ which is itself somewhat reminiscent of the classic ‘This Scene Is Dead’. Guitar effects warp the closing track ‘Forgiveness’ which, in short, is infinitely better than the Editors single of the same name.

Whilst the artwork is puzzling, the music that constitutes Helter Seltzer is simply excellent. Adding to a long history of high quality albums - minus one - We Are Scientists have done it again. Proving that their considerable musical talent is much only by a crippling sense of humour, the duo of Keith Murray and Chris Cain have struck out with a dazzling collection of indie-pop compositions.

Helter Seltzer is available from iTunes and Amazon.

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