We Are The Physics - Your Friend, The Atom | Album Review | By Volume

Got our poster on her wall so every boy that she brings back will see my best side. Johnny Foreigner - Stop Talking About Ghosts

We Are The Physics

Your Friend, The Atom


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Author: on October 22, 2012
This Is Fake DIY

It might be best to defer to We Are The Physics for their own introduction, through Your Friend, The Atom’s second track. “Applied Robotics!” they yell while dancing around angular guitars, and there surely couldn’t be a more apt descriptor. These songs sound like they belong on the factory floor, all razor-sharp corners and conveyer-belt rhythms (fast ones, mind!) – but the secret lies in the “Applied”. These Scottish rockers – can I call them that? They’re mostly just insane – find a ridiculous and unique charm inside a potentially grating noise-fuelled aesthetic, one which invokes more recognisably human reactions in one song – “Goran Ivanisevic” – than anything else in 2012 so far. When I say “human”, here, I mean day-to-day grins and the likes; Your Friend, The Atom is not grandiose, is not exactly ambitious, and is far from haunting – but it is, on the most basic and brilliant level, fun, and sometimes hilariously so.

And so I will concede that I haven’t really heard a band like We Are The Physics before, because I don’t recall such a sense of absolute abandon in music. Which is not to say the hold some sort of rebellious ideology; more that they sometimes shout meaningful stuff and sometimes title their songs “All My Friends Are JPEGs”. Or “Dildonics”. These verses and choruses find it impossible to get bogged down; electronic bleeps waltz in unannounced on “There Is No Cure For The Common Cold So Don’t Expect A Cure For Cancer” only to be replaced by a very subtle New Order-ish synth and then there are some harmonies and then…

Well, then it’s “Goran Ivanisevic”, which beautifully summarises Your Friend, The Atom. I literally laughed out loud the first time I heard the song’s final third; it’s so charming in a batshit insane and beautiful way that it just works. And I’d be hard pressed to explain why We Are The Physics get away with their circular-saw rock beyond just saying that at every juncture they manage to inject enough humour and energy to keep you smiling. It’s hard for me to have this kind of relationship with a band, one where I feel drawn to a sense of humour as much as I do an obvious musicianship. The guitars snap, the drums stamp, and the vocals shout, but it’s the changes in direction that make Your Friend, The Atom. I let the guys introduce themselves earlier, but on their website they’re described as “derivative new-wave post punk”, so I don’t think that will do. These guys can’t be trusted with anything.

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