Thank You Scientist – Terraformer

My issue with Thank You Scientist’s Terraformer (Evil Ink) is the same problem I have with Luca Guadagnino’s recent take on the Suspiria: don’t confuse self-indulgence with genius. I appreciate the balls it takes to drop an 84-minute opus and these New Jersey natives are fucking talented players, but do they really have nearly an hour and a half of captivating sounds? Unless your name is Bob Dylan or The Cure I’m not sure I need such a serving.

See, for my money, the biggest drawback with such an extended playthrough is that vocalist Salvatore Marrano has just one shade in his vocal color palette. As exciting as Sam Greenfield and Joe Gullace keep things up with the sax and trumpet respectively, we’re a bit hampered by Marrano just having one gear. It’s not unlike Coheed and Cambria have a similar dilemma with Claudio Sanchez’s range. Cutting back on the verses or even some harsh vocals could’ve certainly helped as far as keeping things diverse.

As far as moving things along being engaging, the aforementioned Greenfield and Gullace (and I have spoken in length about my love of saxophone in music) are the ones to keep an eye out for on jams like ‘FXMLDR’ and ‘Everyday Ghosts.’ Also, there is plenty of great use of violinist Ben Karas’ skills on the often chaotic instrumental ‘Chromology’ which is a downpour of notes that somehow concludes with an oddly fitting Street Fighter II sample. ‘Swarm’ also gets a lot of love from me for having drummer Joe Fadem sprinkle in some double kick drums to keep the band honest.

Yes, I can see how the start of this write-up may come across as being opposed to progressive music or longer albums. Believe me, I’m not in defiance of those things, but it may just be a bit too early for Thank You Scientist to take up such a task.

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