"WE'RE NOT punk — we're too interested in making our songs as pretty as possible. We're not straight-up rock — our tastes are too left-of-centre. We're not indie-rock — our heads aren't far enough up our own butts."
So says We Are Scientists' singer/guitarist Keith Murray, about the Brooklyn based power pop troupe, who are set to return to Galway to play the Róisín Dubh on Friday October 21, where they will play music from across their career, including songs from their new album, Helter Seltzer, released in April.
While the band have generally been classed as indie-rock, We Are Scientists bout of self-redefining came when recording the new album with the band's former keyboard player Max Hart. They wished to produce a pop album, but one very much on their own, eccentric terms.
"We've always made overtures toward being a pop band, but we've generally had the inclination to obscure those pop leanings in grit and chaos — to screw them up with fuzzed-out tones and raucous performances," says guitarist and vocalist Keith Murray. "It's made us really think about what our musical genre is. So finally, after about 10 minutes, we decided our genre is 'Helter Seltzer.'"
"Declaring a new genre is obviously douchey as hell, though, and impossible to deliver with a straight face," adds bassist Chris Cain, "so we did the noble thing and just made 'Helter Seltzer’ the album title. The songs here are more effervescent than we've ever managed to deliver, but they've still maintained a measure of that ‘Helter Skelter’ element — no matter how fizzy and refreshing the tunes are, they've always got a bit of that seamy, scuzzy, 'cult on Spahn Ranch' vibe."
Chris added: "We therefore consider this album, as a vessel of both sweet pop tunes and seltzer outreach", as can be heard in the single 'Buckle':
Speaking about the video for 'Buckle', Murray said: “Most of our videos start with some kind of longstanding desire that we’re aiming to fulfil. And well, I’d always wanted to dump food all over Chris’s face. Not in an angry way. I just thought it would be fun, and man I was right.”