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Thank You Scientist: Maps of Non-Existent Places

New Jersey progressive rock septet Thank You Scientist is a unique beast; in fact, the group describes itself as "a 7-headed monster" that likes sweet potatoes. Incorporating an array of instruments, including saxophone, trumpet, violin, and viola, into their eccentric, bombastic mix, their newest album, Maps of Non-Existent Places, is very fresh and vibrant. Essentially, they're music is a synthesis of Coheed & Cambria, early Chicago, and Frank Zappa, and if you couldn't tell already, it's brilliant.

Opener "Prelude" is a bittersweet concoction of harmonies and prophetic words, and it segues into the incredible assault of "A Salesman's Guide to Nonexistence" expertly. With its staccato guitar notes, playful syncopation, energetic horns, high-pitched vocals, and accessible dynamics, the song is a powerhouse of intricacy and catchiness. Along the same line, "Feed the Horses" begins like a Ska track on speed as the instruments battle for the spotlight. While not as punky or overtly Mars Volta-esque as, say, Closure in Moscow, some similarities are there. Really, the only gripe one could find is that the music overshadows the songwriting (so the vocals only serve as another instrument rather than as the focal point), but when the sounds is this intoxicating, it's forgivable.

For the most part, Maps of Non-Existent Places maintains this quality throughout (which is why it would be redundant to discuss more songs in detail). Suffice to say that the record is consistently impressive and complex, and each instrument gets plenty of opportunities to shine. It's almost exhausting to listen to the album in its entirety straight through, but that's because there's so much to focus on and keep up with. Thank You Scientist is an incredible new act with plenty of potential, and anyone looking for an atypical breath of musical fresh air should definitely hear this album. Check out album closer, "My Famed Disappearing Act," here.

Track Listing
1. Prelude
2. A Salesman's Guide to Nonexistence
3. Feed the Horses
4. Blood on the Radio
5. Absentee
6. Suspicious Waveforms
7. Carnival
8. Concrete Swan Dive
9. In the Company of Worms
10. My Famed Disappearing Act

Added: August 3rd 2012
Reviewer: Jordan Blum
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 2906
Language: english

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» Reader Comments:

Thank You Scientist: Maps of Non-Existent Places
Posted by Alex Rayston on 2013-10-11 00:08:43
My Score:

Absolutely brilliant, innovative, ambitious album--one of the most impressive debuts from any new band I've heard in quite a few years. The interplay between each member is just a joy to hear, and the riffs rattle through your brain for hours after listening. Definitely an imperative listen!

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