“Art Vs Science” – ‘Art Vs Science’ [Joint Review]

I know, I apologise for my absence on Friday, but to tell you the truth, I haven’t had much luck with albums lately. Either they’ve been acoustic or folk, techno or experimental. I know, you probably remember those are some of my favourite genres [excluding folk], but I’ve been disappointed with the recent crop of artists and their offspring. My partner will probably disagree with me on that point – albums have suddenly exploded out onto the music scene, and he’ll point out that there are quite a few albums worth a response. Maybe I’ve just been looking in the wrong places…

We both managed to come to some sort of consensus concerning our friends ‘Art Vs Science’, and although my disposition on EP‘s remains largely derogatory because of their sample-like nature and ephemeral existence, I’ve decided to make a slight ‘exception’. Self-titled, “Art Vs Science” is sure to please, and is a refreshing change from ‘Muse’s’ superb effort with their latest release “The Resistance”.

Prepare to be amazed:

"Art Vs Science" - 'Art Vs Science'

"Art Vs Science" - 'Art Vs Science'

Generally, I find that an EP should be offering a majority of decent, worthwhile songs to keep listeners enthused. In that respect, if an EP has about five tracks – which I find to be the average mark – at least four of them should be well-strung, emphatic and an overall representation of the album following in its footsteps. I think “Art Vs Science” – as an album – is going to be an interesting combination between heavy-electric influences mixed with the experimental aspects of indie and a touch of electronica. On the whole, if you like short-and-sweet reviews, that just about epitomises what you’ll expect from “Art Vs Science” as an EP. Furthermore, I’m highly anticipating the album in its full-ferocity, I think it will be fantastic to review as a whole.

Onwards, ‘Art Vs Science’ approach their music from a very interesting perspective, and to quote from their http://www.last.fm summary:

‘Art Vs Science’ is a psychological experiment. Songs are crafted carefully according to principles abstracted from the study of human responses to music. Each show is a test of these responses and how they differ in comparison to the manipulation of certain musical elements… and… the relationship between artistic tools (tempo, rhythm, vocal content, video-imagery and structure) and the human response…”

The last time I found musical-composition so fascinating was back when I did a review on a band called ‘Engineers’ [see the review “Three Fact Fader” for further details see: https://highlyevolvedau.wordpress.com/2009/06/07/three-fact-fader-engineers/ ] and they approached their music from constructive methods: put simply, they were focused on the elemental-layers that make the basis for music.

‘Art Vs Science’ shows this same promise because they’ve gone out there and done their research, the music has been refined to such an extent where I thoroughly enjoy a song that’s way beyond my comfort zone. We’ll get straight into context here, and dive head first into:

“Flippers”

It starts with this mechanical drone, and this is probably the most consistent aspect that “Flippers” has to offer. After the ten-second drone opening, we get this heavy percussion, together with a combination of other electrical-influences. When the:

“… Heeeeyyyyy…. Hoooooooo…”

Appears, you’re in flipper town. So, I suggest you: “… use those flippers to get down, right now.” On this note, the usage of synth is quite nostalgic, but the explosive nature of the sub-sonic bass is compelling and forthright. It’s in your face, it’s infectious, and it’s a helluva opening. If ‘Art Vs Science’ keeps this as an introduction to the main album, I’ll be thoroughly impressed. This is the bait, and although it lacks uniqueness in some respects, it has those basics that we’re so used to, it’s upbeat, it’s head-bopping material.

I know my partner was really enthusiastic about “Parlez Vous Francais?”, so I’ll leave it to him to take the limelight in that regard, cause I’m going to jump all the way to what I think seals the deal for ‘Art Vs Science’. It’s nostalgic to some degree, but the lyrics are catchy, and it’s a relief from all that bass-bass-bass. “Friend In The Field” opens with the wave of synth, and although the track retains that same sub-sonic aspect, the vocals take a higher octave, they’re raspy, and lyrically, less repetitive, and the track is generally more acoustic.

“… We lost a friend in the field tonight…”

Are the soon to be infamous forerunners for “Friend In The Field”. The combination of eighties-reminiscent synth in the chorus are implemented wonderfully with the lyrics/vocals, the way each instrument comes together to form each miniature crescendo. Great layers, instant classic, mainstream-making material: and I hope that doesn’t go to their head.

I don’t want to jump to conclusions, and I don’t want to be too hasty in my decision about the following album. For all I know, there are five other tracks which just aren’t worth my time. But from what I’m seeing here, even the average-tracks are touching on the epic-standard. If ‘Art Vs Science’ can maintain this streak, this little “science experiment” might pay off for them in more ways than one…

Until when,

The Enantiomorphic God

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~ by enantiomorphicgod on September 20, 2009.

2 Responses to ““Art Vs Science” – ‘Art Vs Science’ [Joint Review]”

  1. I don’t mean to be crass, and I certainly appreciate seeing a great review for such a unique and underrated band, but I think you should know the blurb about their music (posted actually on their official website, just copied onto last.fm) is both sarcastic, and in great jest towards those who do deem music that “serious.” Art vs. Science is about having fun, after they formed, the wrote 7 songs in 48 hours to prepare for a show they had in 3 weeks time (this is all information easily come upon through sites like wikipedia). You’d be hard-pressed to think that “Hey, Ho, use your flippers to get down” is some meticulously crafted idiot genius. It’s just about having a good time and jumping around. That simplicity is what makes AvS so amazing.

  2. True.

    But it wouldn’t make much of a review if I just said that they’ve done it all for fun, now would it – isn’t that the calling for all artists, musicians or otherwise?

    I’m not hailing them as master-lyricists; I think I’m entitled to example lyrical phrases which are interesting-enough, to give readers a ‘gist’ about what’s happening. Although I mention that this music does have a ‘refined-quality’, compared to other artists I’ve listened to over the year which haven’t been up-to-standard, these guys are a walk in the park. So what if it took them a year or a day to write? It wouldn’t matter if it took them half-an-hour or a century, I’d still like it…

    Arguably, since we all have our own perspectives, this simplicity can be seen in different lights, depending on the reader. I often term the phrase ‘elegant simplicity’ : basically, I like it because it sounds good, or it feels right, “… it’s the vibe.”

    In terms of reviewing, I’m trying to give an in-depth analysis of an album; from my point-of-view. It doesn’t take a genius to say: “Yeah, that was amazing – I really liked it, so should you, it’s got guitar, drums and a bass.” Big whoop, so does every other band in the world…

    [And don’t you dare retort and say that: “so-and-so band doesn’t use guitar, or drums, or bass”, we’ll be arguing over minutia for ever otherwise…]

    Thanks for the debate, enjoyed/enjoying it…

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