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Thank You Scientist - Maps of Non-Existent Places CD (album) cover


Thank You Scientist

Crossover Prog

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Andy Webb
Retired Admin
4 stars I hope this doesn't obviate the rest of the review, but I'd like to start off by saying this: if you haven't heard Thank You Scientist yet and enjoy music, I command you to drop what you are doing and purchase this album. Thank You Scientist is a young septet formed in New Jersey far away from the shore in 2010. The band was quick to release their debut EP 'Perils of Time Travel' early 2011, which is what first grabbed my attention. The band's incredible use of orchestration between their impressive seven members, obvious energy and passion and playing their music, and overall fresh and creative form of music captivated me with listen after listen. I patiently waited, and before long the band began to post news of a new album, which finally materialized as Maps of Non-existent Places.

If you're not already familiar with the band (which you should be), I'll explain their absolutely wonderful style for you. The seven guys obviously have an incredibly eclectic musical background, because before listening to their music I was unaware so many styles could be shoved into any kind of music. The band manages to fuse the complexity of classic progressive rock with a modern prog atmosphere, the energy of a pop punk band, the orchestration of a jazz fusion band, some moments of complex heaviness like a progressive metal band, the musicianship of a well-trained orchestra, the groove of a chill funk band, the communication and fluidity of an experienced jazz combo, and a compositional genius unmatched by most bands today.

With every song the band manages to throw a new curveball, whether it's the beautifully arranged polyphonic a capella piece 'Prelude' that opens the album or the full-out jazz fusion solo-fest 'Suspicious Waveforms,' the guys always have something up their sleeve, and this album is a fantastic showing of the vast creative ability that lies within the seven musicians. On top of the creative compositional ability, the pure musicianship in every member is astounding, and every part on every song is played with fluid ease and crystal understanding. On top of that, every guy seems to know every other guy in the best musical way, so that in every solo section every part flows smoothly, everything meshes with incredible ease, and the whole musical movement sounds effortless.

One of the main reasons I like this new offering from Thank You Scientist over their original EP is the even more creative orchestrations found on the album. On Perils of Time Travel, while it in no way detracted from the EP, it felt as though the more 'exotic' rock instruments in the band (the reeds, brass, and stings) were used more as a texture in the place of keyboards. While of course they had solos and added their little flair to the EP, it seems as though this album uses them more to their potential. They're used for not only for filling out harmonies, but as lead parts, straight melody instruments, soloists, and so much more. If there was one thing that really made TYS what it is, it would be their awesome eclectic lineup, and I was so happy to see it used in such an awesome manner on the album.

Any expectations I had of this album before diving into it (a concrete swan dive I might add) were shattered by the end of my first listen. The album is a truly fantastic showing of the band's musical might, it is extremely enjoyable and memorable the whole way through, and it has the absolute perfect mix of complexity and simplicity as to attract the prog fans but not scare away those who aren't obsessed with having 108 time signature changes in five minutes. The mix of emotion, as seen in songs like 'Absentee,' and technicality, which appears in most of the album but most especially songs like 'My Famed Disappearing Act,' is spot on, and the balance between heavy riffs and either lighter instrumentation or solo parts is in perfect homeostasis as well. The vocals are well-performed and complement the music perfectly. Overall, there is essentially nothing wrong with this album. I'll cap it the same way I began: if you don't have this album, I recommend you get it. Now. 4+ stars.

Report this review (#777975)
Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2012 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars US act THANK YOU SCIENTIST is a relatively fresh addition to the progressive rock universe. They started making their presence an official one around 2009, released their first EP in 2011, and 2012 saw them launch their full length debut album "Maps of Non-Existent Places". And as is more and more common these days the band opted for a self-released production.

Thank You Scientist is a band that should be a Godsend to those who enjoy music with an innovative spirit and approach. Their compositions venture out into territories rarely visited by others, if at all, and while they utilize a great variety of details in compositions and performance alike most would regard as not really a part of the progressive rock universe, the greater picture and overall context of this material is placed rather firmly at the core of it. at minimum in terms of approach. A band to seek out by those who tend to enjoy music of a fairly innovative nature, and if you like jazz rock and music that can be compared to the likes of The Mars Volta both I suspect that Thank You Scientist's "Maps of Non-Existent Places" will be a treasured addition to your music collection.

Report this review (#839232)
Posted Tuesday, October 16, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars What a great and so underrated debut album! I have been really disappotinted about the year of 2012 so far. The only album that makes me satisfied is surely Banks of Eden, and imho the other Progachives' popular albums, namely English Electric, Echolyn, Weather Systems etc. don't deserve the rating's they have, i mean they seems to be so overrated. So I have been searching for a while to find new albums hopelessly but i finally got this album: Maps of Non-Existent Places. This album has only 28 ratings and 1 review so far. Thus, i didn't notice this album when I was searching the new albums in Progarchives. Instead, it was an advice from a friend of mine from ekşi sözlük. This album is simply classified as crossover prog, but i think it is not so. Imho, it compass both heavy prog, symphonic prog, jazz rock/fusion and even extreme metal, so it is hard to categorize this album, but regardless of this classification stuff, this album is really great, that it is full of with great compositions and melodies. Perhaps it is the best album with Banks of Eden for 2012. I really congratulate this new band for this outstanding debut album.
Report this review (#883683)
Posted Friday, December 28, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars In conversations with our beloved editor/boss/thing Dan, I've used the term "mad scientist prog" to describe that brand of genre-blending madness that I absolutely adore, and he thinks up lame puns to deride. However, I have a certain love for bands who put a value on trying something new, all the while holding onto good songwriting. In a fit of delightful irony, I recently happened upon a band of this distinction named Thank You Scientist. A new progressive rock band from New Jersey whose debut album, Maps Of Non-Existent Places, flew under my radar for almost 2 years before taking my car stereo by storm.

Thank You Scientist could be described as a genre blender. With jazz-influenced progressive metal, the doors are already wide-open to a wide array of styles, but I'm hearing a particularly intentional ska-bend going on with the trumpet inclusion on numerous songs. In addition to your typical 4 piece band, Thank You Scientist adds 3 additional members for violin, saxophone and trumpet. Schizophrenic probably doesn't even do the chaos of their sound justice, but there's a couple of things that make a fusion like this work absolutely wonderfully. The effect is infectious, uptempo songs filled with melodies stacked upon themselves,

I'm not a fan of punk or ska music, but it does create an effective framework to conduct more chaotic compositions, and Thank You Scientist has absolutely mastered channeling that chaos into absolutely wonderful songs. In some ways, they remind me a lot of Beardfish, except working with a more modern palette of influences. The familiarity is not necessarily because they are similar, but more just that I appreciate them on similar levels for similar reasons.

There's not actually a guitar solo on Maps Of Non-Existent Places until nearly halfway in, but the guitar tone is absolutely stunning, and some really top notch shredding shows up in other places throughout. I'd recommend starting with "A Salesman's Guide To Nonexistence", "Absentee", and "My Famed Disappearing Act" to get a good taste of just how awesome of a record you're in for.

Buy this album if you're interested in a chaotic and remarkably diverse progressive metal record that's wrapped tightly with surprisingly catchy, even pop-worthy choruses. It's a bit of a chore on the ears to process everything going on, and sometimes I struggle with the dissonance between an overtly uptempo musical atmosphere and the darker, contemplative lyrics. At the end of the record, however, it's all quite worth it. Maps Of Non- Existent Places is absolutely a quintessential progressive rock classic!

Originally posted at

Report this review (#1211391)
Posted Friday, July 11, 2014 | Review Permalink
4 stars Two things stand out to me when listening to Thank you Scientist's album Maps of Non-Existent Places: first, the musicianship. One doesn't need to listen for very long to notice how carefully the songs were constructed and orchestrated among the traditional rock instruments and the saxaphone, trumpet, violin players. With virtuostic playing from all members, each track just oozes with fantastic playing. Second, the insatiable melodies in every song. I agree with another reviewer in that this band clearly wants people to listen to them. The melodies easily rival any guilty pleasure you would hear on a pop radio station. As far as the proggy-elements, for me it comes down to their playing. The playing is seems extremely technical without ever sounding uninspired. Many of the harmonies are jazz- influences (I believe the guitar player studied jazz), not unlike what you might hear from Steely Dan or Frank Zappa. So, imagine a jazz orchestra playing over down-tuned guitars, and you get a pretty good idea of what they sound like. I say this just to give you an idea, though, not by any means to put too much of a label on them. Truly all songs are fantastic, but I want to specifically mention "Absentee." When listening to the album for the first time, I remember the relief in the song, Absentee, with its relatively austere arrangement, at least to start. I thought, "Wow they can actually pull back and have a nice moment to breathe." The song really made Thank You Scientist stand out from other bands that are obviously great players, but never decide to bring it down a notch. Another stand out moment for me is the beginning of the guitar solo toward the end of "Blood on the Radio"; that has to one of the best openings to a solo I have ever heard. I can't imagine someone feeling disappointed by this album. Do yourself a favor and at least check them out on Spotify or something. They recently signed on Evil Ink, Claudio Sanchez's label, which I hope bodes well for their future.
Report this review (#1340123)
Posted Sunday, January 4, 2015 | Review Permalink
4 stars I don't recall where I head of Thank You Scientist; however the review sounded interesting enough that I bought the album without ever listening to it.

The first track is a short a Capella song which reminds me of Moon Safari's opening track from "Himlabacken Vol. I". After that, "A Salesman's Guide to Non-existence" opens with a very pop rock feel to it. When I put the CD into my iTunes library, it was automatically labeled as alternative. For a moment I wondered if I hadn't bought something I wasn't really into these days. Once the song gets moving on, though, and the brass kicks in, it becomes clearer what Thank You Scientist are about.

While "Salesman's Guide" is a good enough start, "Feed Your Horses" tells us what the rest of the album is going to be like. This sounds like progressive ska. There's a pop rock aspect with strong vocal melodies but also lots of brass and odd meters with quick stops and starts. Catch some violin in there as well. Before this track was halfway through, my impression was that this was like Spock's Beard meets Seven Impale.

The music doesn't exactly break new ground (very little does these days anyway) but the band have an adventurous spirit and exhibit a strong desire to take whatever roots they mingle to higher levels. Violin, trumpet, sax, trombone, electric guitar capable of metal soloing, and a tight rhythm section with some funky bass at times work together to create some engaging and exciting music. And if you think they'll limit themselves to this, listen to the Latino-in- prog sounds of "Blood on the Radio" or the use of a shamisen (Japanese three-stringed instrument) in "In the Company of Worms". Or get funky with the intro to "Suspicious Waveforms" only to have some violin add a folk touch to the seventies funk feel and then some jazzy sax and trumpet.

If I have any reserves against this album it's only a slight issue with the vocals. And I emphasis slight. There are two or three moments where I almost think Michael Jackson has started singing. Honestly, the timbre is not exactly to my preference, but Salvatore Marrano is not a bad vocalist at all, quite good really. Perhaps the vocals just remind me of Spock's Beard / Enchant too much so that I don't get an impression of an original or personal vocal style. As such, many of the vocal melodies sound a lot like something from those bands as well or at least like something I've heard before.

The music rocks and the instrumental sections are used wisely for solos, new melodies and themes, and lots of grooving and funking. A good ride this album! If you like lots of bouncing brass and a progressive funk/ska sound, check it out.

Report this review (#1507350)
Posted Tuesday, January 5, 2016 | Review Permalink
3 stars After the first two songs the bombastic arrangements become exhausting. The band shows great potential though, then can play many different styles. However, i think they make an abuse of heavy guitars and fast rhythmic patterns. I think i can explain why i like them but at the same time they are a little unbearable: they sound like The Mars Volta with the high pitched voice and the fast tempos, but much more musical and genuine. The arrangements sometimes are too much. No need to use violin for accompanying for example. It's weird, sometimes the instrumentation works great but sometimes not. There are no pianos nor keyboards right? So they put 3 melodic instruments (violin, sax, trumpet) to "replace" the old classic keyboards and piano we are used to in this progressive rock we like. 3.something stars. They sound very very loud so be careful!
Report this review (#1557133)
Posted Friday, April 29, 2016 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
Honorary Reviewer
4 stars Just one short year after the debut EP, and the band were back with a full-length album of all-new material. The line-up was the same as before, and they had even managed to lift their music a notch, as the listener is dragged straight in with the a capella opening: from there on it just gets even more intense and exciting. It is rare to hear music this complex, invigorating and exciting that is also incredibly commercial. 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. This is progressive rock in its very truest sense, with every note and nuance having its place. They combine together far tighter than any band of this size should ever be able to do, and if you don't believe me then listen to the complex introduction of "Feed The Horses": that the song then becomes a Seventies funky pop classic before moving into something else just proves the point.

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. But how can it be commercial when a brass section if playing delicately, there is someone ripping a violin to pieces, and there is also a metal band at full pelt? None of this makes sense unless you are listening to the album, then nothing else matters. 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. While the music is heavily arranged, it has to be with this many musicians involved, somehow it is still fresh and exciting. This isn't music designed to smother, but instead is a living, breathing force to be reckoned with. 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.

Report this review (#1737729)
Posted Monday, June 26, 2017 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
4 stars 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. 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. 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.

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. 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. Once everything calms down and a crackling sound appears, things look like they'll become slightly quieter, only to then bombard the listener with the mind bending, rhythmically complex intro of Feed The Horses, before it breaks down into the main verse, which happens to be funky and very clearly inspired by Michael Jackson. Just like the previous song, this one is also incredibly packed with many different riffs and melodies, but provides an amazing moment of respite from the insanity with the complete removal of instruments other than a lone trumpet, with a great build up for the next minute before reprising the amazing intro. 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. This is also probably the proggiest, most musically dense song on the album, with many riffs not just switching between melody, but completely different styles, with many standard rock and metal riffs, while also having ones with rhythmic interplay of bands like Meshuggah, with certain riffs even dropping down to further sound like this.

After the almost constant bombardment of insanity the previous 3 songs provided, Absentee comes as a welcome change of pace, which has a much more calm approach to it, with some beautiful melodies, the most prominent being the breathtaking pre-chorus. 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? Furthermore, if you're someone who doesn't like the softer moments on such albums, then Suspicious Waveforms will help with that, because with the complete lack of vocals in this song, the instrumentals are free to go wild, leading to the majority of the instruments getting their own solos, each of them being amazingly technical, but I find that it goes on too long and loses its way by the end. That said, this is where the album can start to slightly fall apart in places, as by this point, the extreme, unending bombast and chaos leads to the tracks starting to blend together to some extent. Despite this, Carnival is an amazing song, with one of my favourite choruses by the band all together. This track does have one issue with it that I find the band sometimes can have in general, and that's having some amazing concepts or hooks, and instead of repeating them sufficiently, they'll go off on longer tangents, and while this is completely fine, the poppier side of them makes it sound as if it would fit quite well. Furthermore, despite me thinking that this should perhaps have been in certain other categories on the website, hooks such as this, along with a frequent ska/punk aesthetic remind me why they deserve to be in crossover prog (along with the fact that it's clearly a massive subgenre if both The Dear Hunter and Nine Inch Nails can exist within it).

From here, the final three songs are a bit of a mix, with Concrete Swan Dive, while being incredibly dense, as with every other song here, leaving me feeling cold, really underwhelming for the way the vocals really don't mesh with the instrumentals, at least not to me. 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. The song all around has a much more conventional prog metal feel to it, even though the brass is still extremely prominent, with the main attraction of the song for once being a guitar solo. 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. 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, 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. Each instrument works well and definitely has an important enough role to justify its existence, leading to little redundancy on that front. I do find that the constant energy does get a bit tiring by the end, but that's mostly fine, as the songwriting is often good enough to still make it a great listen. 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.

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. 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.

Report this review (#2137380)
Posted Monday, February 18, 2019 | Review Permalink
4 stars So after a break, I am feeling rejuvenated to review again. So, Thank You Scientist, this is a band I never actually heard before listening to this album, but the name did Interest me, plus the album cover looked really cool, so I was very interested from the start. So I decided to listen to it and see what this cool new album was all about. After all, with an album cover like that, you kinda have to see what the album is all about.

That album starts with a prelude. Nothing too crazy, but the harmonized voices bring a sense of beauty and chills. This reminds me of those harmonies from Moon Safari, specifically Constant Bloom. Still nothing too special but I feel like this perfectly leads into the album in a nice and smooth direction.

Next track is A Salesman's Guide To Non-Existence. This punches you right in the face with some awesome guitar and horn playing. This song wastes little time to get you hooked for some awesome music. This album has a good blending of jazzy musical works and more punkish sorta metal music. It reminds me a lot with bands like Protest The Hero, The Mars Volta, and Coheed and Cambria, especially the vocals of Salvatore Marrano. Everything just flows so well to where it never feels too forced or hyperbolizing a certain aspect of their similar yet distinct sound. It's honestly quite amazing from the get-go.

The next track is Feed The Horses. This track is similar to the last, however it goes for a more horn driven and more creepy sound. Kinda reminds me of Filistata by Stolen Babies. While it is different, it does retain the same quality of the last track, and adds its own flair to make it feel refreshing. I also think I hear a bit of Gentle Giant, which is always appreciated.

After that, we got Blood On The Radio. This continues the trends laid out by the last 2 songs, and makes them even more bouncy, progressive, and bountiful with some awesome experimentation with some eclectic instrumentation, while keeping true with the ideas that were set out beforehand. What I love is that this track knows when to really change gears to where everything feels fresh every minute and every second. It also never overstays its welcome, being only 9 minutes in length. That's really what I love about this album, the songs are short enough to get through but long enough for them to last, and this track excels at this. The horn on this song is by far the best though, it's jazzy, it's smooth, it's cool, and I feel like it fits insanely well with the harder rock sound.

Next track is Absentee. This track is considerably a bit slower in tempo, but way more exciting in feel and grandiose sounds. It utilizes its slower tempo to create a beautiful sound, still keeping the already iconic sound, but utilizing those ideas and instrumentations to create a more beautiful and elegant, almost symphonic feel through the song, and I absolutely adore it. Sounds like a song you'd hear in your head when you're determined to fight or win in a tactical battle. It's super awesome.

The next song is Suspicious Waveforms. This song is the only one from the band that I'd say is more jazz than rock, especially with the lack of vocals and the lack of any really hard rock elements aside maybe near the end point really. This song is definitely different from the rest, but I feel like it fits pretty snuggly with all these songs. However this is probably the least best song on this album. It's not bad, far from it, I just feel it is sort of lacking with the lack of vocals, and I love instrumental stuff, but I feel like this song deserves some sort of vocal performance, even if it's like for only a minute in the song.

The song after that is Carnival, and honestly I really do enjoy this song a ton, super cool and upbeat, likewise from this band's sorta style. However I think this kinda shows the underlying issue with this album. All the songs are extremely good, yet they feel a bit samey in sound. Not too much to get under my skin, but I would appreciate it if they decided to go more eclectic and experimented more. Heck the last 2, minus one song, Concrete Swan Dive and My Famed Disappearing Act, kinda also feel the same from the stuff we experienced. While I do love this sound, it's definitely one I want more out of than the same sorta sounds that came to pass with the previous songs.

Now, that song that wasn't mentioned with the previous paragraph is In The Company of Worms, and that's because while small, they did try out a bit more of a middle eastern sorta sound at the start, and honestly this is what I want more out of the band. Mixing styles with their already unique blending of jazz and hard rock to create something completely new and refreshing, and this is honestly my favorite song on the album because of what it tried to do, even when it was for a few seconds.

So I think this album is honestly really great. Super awesome in sound and performance, and it definitely feels like a love letter to bands in a sorta similar style while also trying to be their own thing. However it does suffer a bit from songs having a similar sound from one another, a great sound, but definitely one I wanted more out of. Other than that, this is great and one I'd definitely recommend checking out.

Report this review (#2739433)
Posted Tuesday, April 26, 2022 | Review Permalink
4 stars American Crossover Prog ensemble Thank You Scientist are one of Prog's Millennial Generation darlings--What can I call it? Prog's 5th Wave?--contemporary to other likewise hailed beloveds such as Haken, The Dear Hunter, Bent Knee, Leprous, and Between the Buried and Me. Considered owing to the success of Coheed and Cambria, though early on showing their own abilities as musicians and composers, Thank You Scientist is still one for the books; a band of immense talent and vision who are still delivering exceptional, modern Progressive Rock and Prog Metal today. Their debut LP, Maps of Non-Existent Places, follows one year after their likewise noteworthy EP The Perils of Time Travel (2011). To age myself in a different way than other reviewers here, Maps came out at a time when I was actually new to the Progressive 'genre' overall, after I had graduated high school, the summer following my senior year (haha, I told you). Thanks to YouTube especially, it was an album from that time that you just couldn't not hear, in a sense. I don't know what it means if you missed this or albums like Haken's Visions or The Mountain, Mastodon's Crack the Skye or The Hunter, Leprous's Tall Poppy Syndrome, Transatlantic's The Whirlwind, Scale The Summit's The Migration, or really any early The Dear Hunter, for instance. These were big albums, to say the very least.

And onto our album, it starts with the remarkably a capella "Prelude", a beautiful display of vocal talent. Hard to say if featured alongside Salvatore Marrano in the vocal ensemble are otherwise credited vocalists Tom Monda (TYS's guitarist), Andrew Digrius (their horns player), or non-member Mark Radice; more is more, right? Leading directly into the Pop/Ska Punk-inspired intro to "A Salesman's Guide to Non-Existence", the Coheed comparisons can easily be made, not that Marrano's voice, specifically, isn't in its own way distinctive. Super strong vocal melodies are here in the chorus; highly memorable, at that. The horn section is obviously not limited to Punk-derivation, drawing from Jazz as well (maybe think Snarky Puppy, though I'm sure there's more convincing comparisons out there). Masters of composition, in my opinion, the bridge, in its relative simplicity brings that much more complexity to the whole. It's almost as if there were two bridges. And it's especially in the latter part of this bridge that their Post-Hardcore influences do come out. A band very of its time. Next is "Feed the Horses". Some of these sonic ideas, however ahead of the curve they may have been (I'm not sure I can quantify that), do now feel a tad dated (similar to listening to early Caligula's Horse for me). There's still certainly strengths here, I can not deny. The saxes of Ellis Jasenovic are certainly one of those strengths, counterpointing with guitar riffs and horn stabs. The section nearing the end, likewise featuring more distinctly Russ Lynch's viols, is one of its most interesting moments. Regardless, not as drawn to this as the better known "A Salesman's Guide".

Immediately of greater interest is "Blood on the Radio", the longest song at over 9 minutes, with a Latin feel and, in that, some great rhythms. There are some vaguely Alt Metal ideas, even as the song morphs and shifts into greater complexity approaching minute 3. Definitely a general showcase of drummer Odin Alvarez here (certainly an interesting name, I'll add). The instrumental section in the middle, including some great Andalusian-like handclaps, is most delectable, finishing out with a trumpet solo from Digrius. And following vocal return, Monda delivers an unsurprisingly sweeping guitar solo. Back into relatively Coheed-esque territory, the guitar has a light twinkle to it on "Absentee", reminiscent somewhat to Math Rock. The acoustic rhythm guitar certainly adds a very different vibe to this track, the mix overall being pretty clean. The song itself doesn't do a whole lot to me, but I'm always brought back around, at times like this, when the musicianship is as exemplary as it is here (the fantastic sax solo in the middle, for instance; later, the breakdown nearing the end).

Finally back to material I certainly recognize, and apparently for good reason, next is "Suspicious Waveforms". It starts off with this really cool instrumental section, balled up in contrapuntal tension, eased up as the ensemble comes together. Really cool rhythms here and then a great violin solo. This is then followed by solos from sax and trumpet, and finally, after what feels like deliberation, Monda brings in his best solo thus far, followed by an insane, modern Fusion bass (I've been meaning to mention bassist Greg Colacino) and a (very brief) drum solo. The flow of the song is certainly satisfying, and it's a killer jam I couldn't help but bop my head and bounce my leg to (or is that the Adderall really soaring through my veins?). This is one of those thangs I want from modern Prog. Next is "Carnival", another with relatively clean instruments, its sharpest elements in the form of strings and horns. The guitar here, riffing seamlessly in between everything, still sounds fantastic. Some of the ensemble attacks throughout are just rapid-fire fast. With much of this, we are back in 3rd-Wave-era (Emo) Post-Hardcore composition. And then we are brought to great surprise, with the change in rhythm (simplified with just guitar, bass and drums) as we get a full violin solo from Lynch. Refreshing to me, really.

In somewhat foreign territory for the album, "Concrete Swan Dive" is next, with clean, direct rhythm section and buzzing horn stabs. The breakdown nearing minute 2 is really something! The lyrics strike me as an interesting inner war, apparently targeted at God, skeptical of salvation, skeptical of divine love, if I can pinpoint it. It's one of the most interesting songs in a bit, compositionally speaking. Suddenly, a wild guitar solo comes in full power, full steam ahead. In for more surprises? Up next, we enter Raga with the intro to "In the Company of Worms", rapidly developing into Heavy Metal, pinch squeals now included. This song is heavy. The tension and vocal melodies feel pretty familiar, but perhaps they're just somewhat similar to our second track here, "A Salesman's Guide". Another head-bopper, for sure. Did Tom Morello just step into the booth? This guitar solo is wild. And then wilder. And wilder? haha. Yet another super powerful number. And finally, we have "My Famed Disappearing Act", another track which has proven difficult to shake. More incredible lead guitar here at the start before more infectious melodies, vocally some of the best on the album. As with numerous other moments throughout, I'll suggest a band who I presume was likewise inspired in part by Thank You Scientist, whom I saw now years ago, and whom I hope are still around: Mid Atlantic Title (their EP Sonic Bloom, 2017, is available online, at least). In the second half, we get soft gang vocals backing Marrano; again, the vocals are just great here, so the more the merrier. Again, guitarist Tom Monda takes up the helm and, as proved time and again, carries the track to that next level within just a few bars. To close, one of the best on the album, easily in the top 3.

Really a solid album overall, let alone being the band's debut full-length. Highly recommended, and well-rated, far as I'm concerned.

True Rate: 4.25/5.00

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Posted Saturday, April 29, 2023 | Review Permalink

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