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


Thank You Scientist


Crossover Prog

4.01 | 206 ratings

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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.

FragileKings | 4/5 |


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