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THANK YOU SCIENTIST

Crossover Prog • United States


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Thank You Scientist biography
Thank You Scientist is a seven-headed rock ensemble from New Jersey. Their debut record, The Perils of Time Travel, was released in January 2011. The music can be best described as progressive rock mixed with jazz and fusion. Not an uncommon trait especially under the crossover banner.They are from New Jersey and have been playing successful live shows to eager audiences for some time now. The abovementioned EP release consists of five tracks and has been warmly received. The band comprises of:

Sal Marrano: Vocals, Beard
Tom Monda: Fretted and Fretless Guitar
Greg Colacino: Acoustic and Electric Bass
Odin Alvarez: Drums
Russ Lynch: Violin and Viola
Ellis Jasenovic: Tenor and Soprano Sax
Andrew Digrius: Trumpet, Flugelhorn, and Synth

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Stranger Heads PrevailStranger Heads Prevail
Evil Ink 2016
Audio CD$8.95
$8.94 (used)
Maps Of Non-Existent PlacesMaps Of Non-Existent Places
Evil Ink 2014
Audio CD$8.48
$8.50 (used)
Stranger Heads PrevailStranger Heads Prevail
Import
JVC 2016
Audio CD$24.02
$28.30 (used)
Maps of Non by Thank You ScientistMaps of Non by Thank You Scientist
Import
Audio CD$35.56
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THANK YOU SCIENTIST discography


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THANK YOU SCIENTIST top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.97 | 124 ratings
Maps of Non-Existent Places
2012
4.07 | 149 ratings
Stranger Heads Prevail
2016

THANK YOU SCIENTIST Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

THANK YOU SCIENTIST Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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THANK YOU SCIENTIST Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.74 | 29 ratings
The Perils Of Time Travel
2011

THANK YOU SCIENTIST Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Stranger Heads Prevail by THANK YOU SCIENTIST album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.07 | 149 ratings

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Stranger Heads Prevail
Thank You Scientist Crossover Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Review originally published in www.therocktologist.com

What an amazing band!

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. This album was one of my 2016 favorites, it hit me since the first listen, I still remember I was blown away saying things like "holy sh*t" or "wow, this is so good", expression I still use while listening to it by the way.

Eleven tracks are here, making a total time of 67 minutes of solid music that will make you have a great time. It opens with ""Prologue: A Faint Applause", a two-minute song that works of course as the introduction to what the album will be about. The vocals are acute and sweet, while the music has a circus-like feeling. It leads to "The Somnambulist" which shows much more energy since the very first seconds, that blend of genres I previously mentioned can be appreciated here, I love that metal spirit made by guitars, bass and drums, wonderfully complemented by a brass section and a subtle violin that appears here and there. Of course, Marrano's voice plays a main role during the whole album, being a crucial element of Thank You Scientist's sound.

Maybe, just to point out as reference, the sound might remind you of Coheed and Cambria and A.C.T., the main difference is that magnificent use of sax, trumpet and violin that we can appreciate and love in "Caverns". This great track could fit in the heavy prog label, with that inherent jazzy sound. In the final part there is a killer guitar solo. "Mr. Invisible" was the first track I listened from the album, and I must say it still is my favorite. What a song, my gosh! The jazz feeling is simply delicious, I love how in spite the challenging composition, the music could be catchy and easy to dig. I love its changes, the soft parts and then when it becomes heavier; I love the instrumental passages and the ones with vocals, I love how the musicians understand each other perfectly and share their talent with us.

"A Wolf in Cheap Clothing" starts slow, after the previous vertiginous track, this seems to share a moment of tranquility, just before its explosion that arrives a few seconds before minute two, so then Thank You Scientist once again offers a wonderful blend of jazz-prog-metal that no ears should let escape. "Blue Automatic" offers endless figures made by guitars, bass and violin, the guys are amazing musicians with so much technique. With some other bands/albums I sometimes have an issue with the Djent-ly sound and with those samples of virtuosity that lack of emotion, with Thank You Scientist that feeling has never appeared in my mind, on the other hand, these guys make me feel much interest in keeping my ears listening to every single minute.

"Need More Input" is a killer! Man, the contrast of their passages, how first it is laid-back and then explosive and exciting, later soft and expectant, and later more powerful and with infinite notes played that create so many textures and nuances. There is a great instrumental passage with a mid-eastern feeling and then one with a balkan-feeling, amazing. This is another favorite of mine, without a doubt. There are no weak tracks in this album, fortunately, so you will be positively surprised with all the songs That surprise came to me with "Rube Goldberg Variations" due to its delicate sound that create exquisite jazzy nuances when trumpet, sax and violin take the leadership. They even dared to create a Latin-jazz passage, so we can reaffirm how talented they are. This is the only instrumental track off the album, by the way.

"Psychopomp" has also that mid-eastern sound combined with a gypsy feeling. The song develops different structures and as usual, countless colors, textures and changes. The song's length is over nine minutes, but they pass so fast with a blink of an eye, which means it has naturally grew on me. "The Amateur Arsonist's Handbook" is the last lengthy track of the record, and in the end it sums up what their sound is about. "Epilogue: And the Clever Depart" brings the last minute of the album, a soft goodbye track.

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. Please, do yourself a favor and listen to them.

Enjoy it!

 Stranger Heads Prevail by THANK YOU SCIENTIST album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.07 | 149 ratings

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Stranger Heads Prevail
Thank You Scientist Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

5 stars It took until 2016 for the next album, during which time they got a new bassist and violinist, but even though some personnel had changed they stayed true to what they had been producing on their previous works. They even started this one with an a capella introduction as they had with the last. 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. It is fresh, it is exciting, it is invigorating, and most of all it is just great fun to listen to!

This is not a prog band that wants to copy either Genesis, King Crimson, VDGG or Yes, but instead what to get out there and make a name for themselves performing the music they want, and no matter what everyone else may think of it. Interestingly, the vast majority of progheads who have come across their music think that they are amazing, so how come they aren't more well-known? Certainly they had missed me by totally, of which the only advantage I can think of is that now I know about them I have a few hours' worth of music to discover instead of just one album. 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. Full of light and shade, dynamics aplenty, this is an incredibly exciting album and one that I could listen to all day. Each time I play it I make more discoveries, with each musician being an integral part to the musical whole. If, like me, this amazing band had passed you by, then now is the time to discover some of the most interesting music you will find in the current prog scene.

 Maps of Non-Existent Places by THANK YOU SCIENTIST album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.97 | 124 ratings

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Maps of Non-Existent Places
Thank You Scientist Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

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.

 The Perils Of Time Travel by THANK YOU SCIENTIST album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2011
3.74 | 29 ratings

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The Perils Of Time Travel
Thank You Scientist Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

4 stars 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. Being unable to answer I took the only course of action possible, and immediately tried to find out more about them. 'The Perils of Time Travel' was their debut release, a thirty-minute-long EP that they released in 2011. Even before the music starts one realizes that here is a band that are somewhat out of left field. While a septet isn't really that unusual in music, the instrumentation being portrayed by some of the line-up certainly is. Sal Marrano (vocals), Tom Monda (fretted and fretless guitar), Greg Colacino (acoustic and electric bass) and Odin Alvarez (drums) can be said in some way to be the "normal" side of the band. They are joined by Russ Lynch (violin and viola), Ellis Jasenovic (tenor and soprano sax) and Andrew Digrius (trumpet, flugelhorn, and synth). Even discounting that the much-maligned flugelhorn hasn't seen many rock outings outside of Jethro Tull or Gryphon, it is certainly unusual to find any band combining strings with brass, and little in the way of keyboards.

What is even more interesting is just how commercial they sound, certainly not what one would expect from a line-up like this. They mix Coheed and Cambria with a gentler version of Protest The Hero and manage to make djent, jazz, pop and prog sound as if they were destined to be together. Yes, they can go off into tangents when they wish to, and Tom is an amazing guitarist, but it is the sheer joy from the music that makes one keep going back for more. Somehow it manages to be inventive, fresh and new, yet managing to stay accessible and soon the listener wonders how they managed to live their musical lives without ever coming across these guys before. Some of these songs could even make it onto rock radio, what on earth is going on?

It is rare to discover a band truly formed and with strong direction on their very first release. What on earth could an album be like?

 Stranger Heads Prevail by THANK YOU SCIENTIST album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.07 | 149 ratings

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Stranger Heads Prevail
Thank You Scientist Crossover Prog

Review by baantacron

5 stars I first encountered Thank You Scientist when they were opening for Haken in Glendale, CA. I'd never heard of them, despite their growing acclaim. Their set is one of the best shows I've seen and going into it blind was an incredible experience. This review isn't about their set though, it's about the album, so I'll move along to that.

The standout quality to Stranger Heads Prevail, and all of TYS's music is something I find severely lacking from the modern progressive scene. Their music is fun, especially so on this album. We've seemed to have become so hostile to the idea of accidentally making a catchy tune, that musicians will try to avoid it at all costs. Steven Wilson even jokes about this when discussing the track "Sound of Muzak".

On Stranger Heads Prevail, TYS maintains a complex and dynamic sound that utilizes every bit of their seven piece band, but doesn't bog itself down trying to be overly meaningful or deep. In a seven piece it's easy for instruments to begin getting lost in the mix, not so in this case. 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. 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.

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. A move back to music for the masses without sacrificing their progressive core.

 Stranger Heads Prevail by THANK YOU SCIENTIST album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.07 | 149 ratings

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Stranger Heads Prevail
Thank You Scientist Crossover Prog

Review by chuckyfunk

5 stars Wow... I have to say that this sounds as though we are having a prog history lesson. All of prog artists and subgenres get a nod here some how, from Yes, Gentle Giant, Frank Zappa to the Mars Volta. And still, this band manages to sound original, which makes it even more incredible. I really enjoy the way Sal's voice blends in with the rest of the melodic chaos that this music is. While it's true that there's always been prog bands around, I don't think that prog hasn't had a resurgence like this in quite a while and I really like living in these times when all of these bands are coming out with new ideas. 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. I extremely recommend this to anyone eager for getting into new music.
 Stranger Heads Prevail by THANK YOU SCIENTIST album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.07 | 149 ratings

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Stranger Heads Prevail
Thank You Scientist Crossover Prog

Review by Yeshead1

4 stars This is my first review on this site. I've been reading reviews and getting a lot of good guidance for years, so finally joined! And this couldn't be a better first album for me to review. I actually just ran across TYS from a FB post from The Prog Report listing their top 15 albums of 2016, and this was one of the bands I hadn't heard of. Wow, pretty much from the first few songs I was hooked. Also watched a 35min. or so studio broadcast thing they did that showed how tight and ridiculously talented this band is. They incorporate so many different styles, ideas, and influences-almost too many to list. But if I were to classify them I would call them: Modern Progressive Ska Jazz Fusion Melodic Metal. And that covers about half of it. There's so many elements of Prog that seem to work here like ridiculous musicianship, time signature changes out the wazoo,and intricate instrumental passages mixed with melodic vocals. There are definitely nods to Zappa, Chicago, Steely Dan, Queen, Gentle Giant-and so many Prog giants of the 70s, but thet definitely put a modern edge and twist to it, much like Umphrey's Mcgee. I have listened to this album and their first 3 or 4 times each just in the last few days since I discovered them, so I'll have a lot more to say later, when it all sinks in. But I am so blown away from the originality, uniqueness ,musicianship, songwriting, and most of all take all of their influences, throw em in a pot, and come up with a totally original stew. My favs on this album are: the somnambulist, caverns, Mr. Invisible, and Rube Goldberg Variations but there is not a weak track in my opinion. and as far as the vocals are concerned; I'm getting more comfortable with them with repeated listets. It is not a matter of vocal quality- Sal's got a great voice that is very expressive and intense and fits the music perfectly. The range and timbre just take a little getting used. Love this band so much already. Reminds me when I first discovered Umphrey's.
 Stranger Heads Prevail by THANK YOU SCIENTIST album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.07 | 149 ratings

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Stranger Heads Prevail
Thank You Scientist Crossover Prog

Review by Il Bambinello

4 stars It was in the air. I had quite for some time found myself listening - without real satisfaction - to lots of different band and artists, some well enstablished and others quite unknown; I was in search of something new to listen, a kind of thing that happens when you are a good music fan.

Then I stumbled upon this new prog band (they have been around since 2011 but somewhat "legitimated" by a record label only in 2014), a septet mixing lots of genres in one original formula. Guitar, drums and bass are so happily joined by violin, sax and trump, not to mention additional musicianship. I found their first album not only stunning (Maps of non-existent places, 2012) in their daring blend of heavy progressive with jazz fusion, avant-garde and eastern influences, but also extremely exciting in their reminiscences of artists I love and are so very far one from the other ( The Mars Volta, '70s Chicago, Dave Matthews Band, Frogg Café, HoobUstank, Dreamtheater and many others). The band showcases in almost every track the incredible skills of the musicians at playing each their own instrument, though never forgetting how to build complex melodies and achieving a harmonic result not always granted when seven people are playing music of this kind.

Technically gifted, all the band members produce a very rich, multi-layered music, of the kind that every listen reveals something new, and, personally speaking, that's what I seek in the music I buy.

This second album, Stranger Heads Prevail, has the difficult task of keeping the bar high, and it seems to succeed. Partially. At a first listen, the starting tracks - prologue apart - perhaps suffer from excess of grandeur, and I can understand why for some this band's music sounds like 'too much'.

Then "Mr Invisible" kicks in and sets a more focused pace to the central part of the album, with the fusion funky verse taking us thru soaring bridges and a jazz metal interlude to land safely on an immediate chorus. Fun keeps growing with the subsequent tracks: "Automatic blue" is groovy and powerful while the evocative guitar chords that introduce "Need more input" and the following instrumental avant track are the highlight of this album, somewhat excusing the noisy "Psychopomp" (where the band falls again in the 'too much' argument) and the okay songs that close the disc. To sum up, great musicianship aimed to compose great music. Probably a bit revved at times, but very felt and effective for the most part, at least for those who seek complex time signatures and daring play without sacrificing fun or melody.

 Maps of Non-Existent Places by THANK YOU SCIENTIST album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.97 | 124 ratings

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Maps of Non-Existent Places
Thank You Scientist Crossover Prog

Review by marcobrusa

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!
 Maps of Non-Existent Places by THANK YOU SCIENTIST album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.97 | 124 ratings

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Maps of Non-Existent Places
Thank You Scientist Crossover Prog

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

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.

Thanks to chris s for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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