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Thank You Scientist

Crossover Prog

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Thank You Scientist Maps of Non-Existent Places album cover
3.99 | 197 ratings | 10 reviews | 34% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2012

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Prelude (1:11)
2. A Salesman's Guide to Nonexistence (5:02)
3. Feed the Horses (6:26)
4. Blood on the Radio (9:22)
5. Absentee (5:59)
6. Suspicious Waveforms (6:31)
7. Carnival (6:31)
8. Concrete Swan Dive (5:47)
9. In the Company of Worms (5:46)
10. My Famed Disappearing Act (5:43)

Total Time 58:18

Line-up / Musicians

- Salvatore Marrano / lead vocals
- Tom Monda / fretted & fretless guitars, acoustic guitar, cello, shamisen, vocals
- Russ Lynch / violin, viola, mandolin
- Andrew Digrius / trumpet, flugelhorn, trombone, vocals
- Ellis Jasenovic / tenor & soprano saxophones
- Greg Colacino / bass
- Odin Alvarez / drums, percussion

- Mark Radice / vocals
- David Bodie / percussion

Releases information

Artwork: John Bryan IV

CD Self-released (2012, US)
CD Evil Ink Records ‎- EI200 (2014, US) Remixed/Remastered by Andy VanDette

2LP Evil Ink Records ‎- EI200V (2014, US) Remixed/Remastered by Andy VanDette

Thanks to Andy Webb for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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THANK YOU SCIENTIST Maps of Non-Existent Places ratings distribution

(197 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(34%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (16%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

THANK YOU SCIENTIST Maps of Non-Existent Places reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Andy Webb
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.

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

Review by FragileKings
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.

Review by kev rowland
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.

Review by Kempokid
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.

Latest members reviews

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#2739433) | Posted by Dapper~Blueberries | Tuesday, April 26, 2022 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#1557133) | Posted by marcobrusa | Friday, April 29, 2016 | Review Permanlink

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, ... (read more)

Report this review (#1340123) | Posted by boomer89 | Sunday, January 4, 2015 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#1211391) | Posted by Daggor | Friday, July 11, 2014 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#883683) | Posted by nostoc | Friday, December 28, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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