Fortunately, after a string of some flawed songs, In The Company Of Worms comes back incredibly strong with an ethnic, psychedelic intro that reminds me of something from Dzyan's Electric Silence. Some of them fall short on originality, but I can asure you, this band excels in originality all the while sounding as if they're paying tribute to the giants. Overall, this album is incredibly impressive in a massive amount of ways, especially in terms of having such a distinct identity, along with often balancing enjoyability with technicality excellently, before ramping both up to the absolute extremes. I really enjoy the way Sal's voice blends in with the rest of the melodic chaos that this music is. My Famed Disappearing Act ends the album perfectly, with an intro brimming with so much raw energy and power that nothing else on the album even gets close to the pure perfection that is found here. Each time I play it I make more discoveries, with each musician being an integral part to the musical whole.
What a song, my gosh! The vocals are acute and sweet, while the music has a circus-like feeling. Again we are being treated to a band that want to mix so many different styles and musical influences that it is superfluous to even mention them, but when Coheed and Cambria lay down next to Frank Zappa who is cosying up to Mars Volta, then one knows that one is in the presence of something quite special indeed. Best songs: Caverns, Rube Goldberg Variations, Psychopomp Weakest songs: Need More Input, Epillogue: And the Clever Depart Verdict: The easier of the albums by the band to get into, with a much less dense overall sound and many moments of wild experimentation that are far less caffeinated than you;d find on their debut, suggested to those who enjoy the Mars Volta or complex, jazzy music in general, although this album is far from inaccessible to more casual listeners anyway, at least in parts. This slight lukewarmness is immediately destroyed by my personal favourite song by the band, Caverns, jumps between riffs excellently in the intro before transitioning into a section almost devoid of brass, instead having a wonderfully interweaving melody involving the guitars. Despite being one of the most straightforward songs on the album, the sheer density of it is incredible, even going as far as to have a small electronic breakdown. This great track could fit in the heavy prog label, with that inherent jazzy sound. Some of these songs could even make it onto rock radio, what on earth is going on? While the years of this decade have passed, Thank You Scientist has developed a wonderful, unique sound that shows a truly interesting crossover of prog rock, metal and jazz that now has landed in their second studio album entitled Stranger Heads Prevail, which shows a step forward from their previous releases.
All in all, if you enjoy music that's complex, you'll find this to be at least mildly interesting, despite the fact that I feel like you'd have to listen a few times to love it. They mix rock and metal with prog, jazz and fusion, not bothering to worry about whether the music fits within any particular genre and not only breaks through preconceived boundaries but smashes them to pieces. Please, do yourself a favor and listen to them. I also really love the heavier, slower riff at the end and how much it sounds like part of Haken's Visions, which I just find to be a fun touch. And the chosen album is Stranger Heads Prevail, the latest effort of the weird ensemble of Thank You Scientist, an album that shows advocates of classic prog that the current scene is well nurtured and thriving.
One extremely important note about this album is its tendency to quite possibly sound mediocre and samey upon first listen due to the wild transitions throughout causing it to be incredibly chaotic to the point of almost seeming aimless in parts, but it's definitely an album that grows on you. Similarly, Psychopomp manages to maintain perfect focus throughout its 9 and a half minute runtime, having a really nice Middle Eastern sound to it, while also containing riff after riff, with the one in the chorus being absolutely perfect, despite the simplicity of it. The first song after the acapella intro, A Salesman's Guide To Non-Existence comes in guns blazing, immediately establishing the sort of powerhouse this band is, with a great guitar riff that within a few moments is built upon with the strings and especially the saxophone following the main melody, before breaking down into an amazing, layered verse with sections with vocal harmonies to add further 'fullness' to the sound, for lack of a better description. That they can mix this complexity and intricacy in a way that makes it so easy to listen to is an art in itself, and something that very few bands ever manage. The final three songs manage to be much more interesting, with Rube Goldberg Variations being an infinitely more entertaining instrumental than Suspicious Waveforms, with this one flipping through styles at a rapid pace, while also being by far the most crafted song the band has written so far, constantly progressing while still holding onto the key elements of what makes it great. The difference between these two different bands is more in how they construct the musical compositions. Just when you thought the band would begin to retread some ground and expand upon that, Blood On The Radio starts off sounding like a caffeinated mariachi band before breaking into what sounds like some sort of Eastern European folk music.
The album overall has a much more refined sound most noticeable in the improvement of aspects of each song to latch onto allowing each song to be immediately distinctive, causing the album to be much easier to get into when compared to their often dense yet still great. And still, this band manages to sound original, which makes it even more incredible. Each instrument has its time in the forefront leading the melody and then phases back into harmonies in a way that flows wonderfully through each track. Eleven tracks are here, making a total time of 67 minutes of solid music that will make you have a great time. I will begin with a personal anecdote: I was studying abroad by the time of this release Sep-Oct 2016 and that was the first time I travelled outside my home country and this album reflects somewhat my experience abroad: I was eager to meet new people, speak other languages, be part of another culture; and while I was living that life, I came across this band, who, as I back then, took risks, had a good time and turned this album into something not seen very often. They are from New Jersey and have been playing successful live shows to eager audiences for some time now. While it doesn't have the unbelievably complexity of much of modern progressive rock, I still think that Stranger Heads is one of the highlights of 2016 in progressive rock.
Despite this, the band takes this sound, and puts its own spin on it, replacing keyboards and synths with saxes, trumpets, and orchestral strings, adding a great jazz flair. Best songs: A Salesman's Guide to Non-Existence, Feed the Horses, Blood on the Radio, My Famed Disappearing Act Weakest songs: Suspicious Waveforms, Concrete Swan Dive Verdict: If you enjoy highly bombastic music, then I think that you'll find a lot to like about this, similarly to if you're a fan of The Mars Volta or enjoy brass instrumentation. I must admit a certain bias as trumpet player myself, the inclusion of lots of clean and technical trumpet definitely makes it easy for me to love this music, but lets be fair, the music is just generally easy to love. Even before the music starts one realizes that here is a band that are somewhat out of left field. In some ways this reminds me of Spock's Beard, not in the way that the music is constructed, but that they are daring to do something different. Mr Invisible then comes in after such an intense song with its amazingly funky bassline and just like Feed The Horses, strong Michael Jackson vibes, making for a really great, enjoyable song.
Posted Monday, June 26, 2017 Review 1737729 This New Jersey act are new to me, and I only came across them because I was asked by someone at work what I thought of them. . The best trait of this record is the flawless interaction between brass, guitars and vocals, often yielding powerful but melodic and intricate lines backed up by a rock solid rhythmic section. Posted Monday, March 6, 2017 Review 1699107. While the foundation of the band is still clear to see, with the pop and ska elements being fused with jazz, metal, and the insanity of The Mars Volta all still being there, but with more room to breath within tracks, along with certain compositional problems no longer being present, namely the lack of any track that goes too far off course and ends up losing its way. This is not perfect by any means though, it can sometimes feel a bit repetitive and drag a little too long, and I would have liked more brass and a little less guitar but these aren't deal-breakers and I can live with them.
Posted Tuesday, February 19, 2019 Review 2137767 Thank You Scientist is a band that takes its influences and blends them perfectly into their own distinct, unique sound, with the main ones I can pick out quickly is the anarchic energy of The Mars Volta, combined with the bright, often poppy nature of The Dear Hunter and Coheed and Cambria. The album closes off quite well with The Amateur Arsonist's Handbook, which is much faster paced and rock oriented than anything else on the album, and also contains a jaw dropping violin solo. This isn't music designed to smother, but instead is a living, breathing force to be reckoned with. The jazz feeling is simply delicious, I love how in spite the challenging composition, the music could be catchy and easy to dig. This is of course still with some amount of energy, found in the still primarily metal riffs, but hey, the saxophone solo is amazingly smooth that who cares about some more energy in a ballad? If crossover progressive rock, in its purest form, is what you wish for, then Thank You Scientist are a band that you need to discover immediately, if not sooner. Out of these, Need More Input stands out as being my least favourite song the band has put out, with barely a moment of interest to be found on it.
The rest of the song, while not quite as good as this, manages to keep up enough of the initial excitement produced, while also distinctly feeling like a fitting closer to an album. Overall not a bad debut release that shows the band struttin' their prog chops in a carefully crafted progressive pop context. I extremely recommend this to anyone eager for getting into new music. Of course, Marrano's voice plays a main role during the whole album, being a crucial element of Thank You Scientist's sound. Sal somehow manages to always stay in control, no matter what is going on around him, and his style certainly adds to the overt commerciality of some of the material.
In a seven piece it's easy for instruments to begin getting lost in the mix, not so in this case. Posted Thursday, March 23, 2017 Review 1704489 Wow. For a 7 piece band, I must also say that the sound they have is incredibly tight, with a great handle on time signatures and rather erratic transitions at points, which further adds to the energy and volume of an already loud, bombastic band. What on earth could an album be like? Listening to this album is a great experience, but now I am truly excited because I will see Thank You Scientist on stage next Progtoberfest at Chicago, and am sure it will be an unforgettable experience. Full of light and shade, dynamics aplenty, this is an incredibly exciting album and one that I could listen to all day. Their music is fun, especially so on this album. Being unable to answer I took the only course of action possible, and immediately tried to find out more about them.