CD REVIEW: Thank You Scientist - Maps of Non-Existent Places
By: Cyrus Rhodes
"progressive tripped out fusion rock"
- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST -
Artist: Thank You Scientists
Album: Maps of Non Existent Places
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Alternative Rock, Progressive Rock, Fusion
Sounds Like: Steve Vai, Faith No More, King Crimson, Dave Matthews Band
Weakness: Genera Identity Crisis, Winded Songs, Marketability.
New Jersey based 7 piece band Thank You Scientist” release their debut CD entitled Maps of Non-Existent Places. Reading from their bio: The band has been captivating live audiences throughout New Jersey and New York with their “face-melting” live performances. Influences range from Frank to Mahavishnu Orchestra, Mr. Bungle and Steely Dan.
The CD kicks things off with melodic “Prelude” which gently lead you by the hand to Track 2 “A Salesman’s guide to Nonexistence” which kicks things into high gear with grinding guitar groove meshed against driving rock rhythm, emotionally charged vocal delivery and dynamic musical flow. Track 3 “Feed The Horse” serves up another solid low end groove, with melodic musical flow coupled with hooky harmonies and impressive vocal accents from Salvatore Marrano. Track 4 my personal favorite “Blood on the Radio” shifts gears with its slithering musical intro eventually lending itself into a pulsating rock groove meshed with an infectious rock melody that flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. The signature sound of “Thank You Scientist” is not so easy to pigeonhole. Let take a stab. As the CD unfolds I can hear many musical influences ranging from reminiscent from Steve Vai, Faith No More, King Crimson, Return to Forever to Dave Matthews Band. Right from the start you will notice Maranno and company feel quite comfortable just letting it all hang out musically, not holding anything back. The overall musical vibe has a nice, indie feel to it but the music is highly melodic an extremely progressive in nature. The guitar playing is rock solid across the board as he dishes out impressive guitar licks, rock solid rhythm guitar playing with a few mesmerizing solos. Maranno’s got solid vocal timber and is full of passion and recklessness abandon. The musicianship from all the other members in the band has everything you would expect from a progressive, tripped out fusion rock band. I really liked some of the timing curve balls thrown out as well. The songs themselves are consistent musical experiences, each one possessing unique personality, flair and signature groove. Let me go on record to say these are truly phenomenal players in their own right. From heart felt “Absentee” to slamming “Suspicious Waveforms” to rocking Carnival” to dynamic Concrete Swan Dive” to flipped out In The Company of Worms” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 10 “My Framed Disappearing Act” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.
It's fair to say this CD suffers from a mild case of genera identify crisis. CD crosses so many musical styles and genera's it can be confusing to some listeners out there. At the end of the day I think a mainstream audience will struggle to identify with some of these some of the aforementioned. All songs over 3.5 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line. I fully realize this is a subjective art form but many of the above issues affect the CD’s overall marketability. I could be wrong but I’m a bit skeptical to how well this band can pull some some of this off in live setting.
In close Maps of Non-Existent Places. is an action packed production from start to finish. It’s strong suit – its raw feel almost as if you were watching a tripped out fusion rock band play live in the studio. If these guys have a slam dunk live presentation then that would be a deadly combination no doubt. The songs are extremely melodic, passionate, powerful and highly original – and will no doubt get your adrenalin pumping.