Thank You Scientist — Terraformer (June 14th, 2019) Location: New Jersey, NY
Genre: Progressive Rock
Album release: June 14th, 2019
Record Label: Evil Ink Records
01. Wrinkle 2:32
02. FXMLDR 7:56
03. Swarm 6:25
04. Son of a Serpent 8:06
05. Birdwatching 3:41
06. Everyday Ghosts 10:03
07. Chromology 9:49
08. Geronimo 6:15
09. Life of Vermin 8:11
10. Shatner’s Lament 1:13
11. Anchor 9:56
12. New Moon 2:01
13. Terraformer 8:07
⦿ Salvatore Marrano — Vocals,
⦿ Tom Monda — Guitar, fretless guitar, shamisen, sitar, vocals, producer
⦿ Cody McCorry — Bass, theremin, saw
⦿ Joe Fadem — Drums,
⦿ Ben Karas — Violin,
⦿ Sam Greenfield — Saxophone,
⦿ Joe Gullace — Trumpet
★ Thank You Scientist is an eclectic, vibrant and well~hydrated progressive rock band from New Jersey. Their upcoming album, Terraformer, sees the boy~ish septet at their most ambitious and most unpredictable. The band has taken their experimental, genre~bending sound to the next level by delivering an extremely ambitious and constantly stimulating 84~minutes of experimental rock and roll music. Some might even say it’s the band’s Oop… I Did It Again. I’m saying it right now. Terraformer is the Oops… I Did It Again of progressive rock.
★ Founded by guitarist and bandleader Tom Monda, the band self~released the Perils of Time Travel EP in 2011, before signing with Claudio Sanchez’s label Evil Ink Records. Their 2012 full length debut, Maps of Non~Existent Places made it onto the Billboard Hard Rock and Heatseekers charts, and was eventually named “Album of the Week” by Revolver Magazine in 2014. They followed up in 2016 with Stranger Heads Prevail, which cracked the Billboard Top 200 and co~starred on “Home Improvement” with Tim Allen.
⊂⊃ “TYS literally sounds like a 5th grade band trying to play a song they’ve never rehearsed with an instrument they’re unfamiliar with.” — @VViccan on Twitter
► In addition to Tom Monda and vocalist Salvatore Marrano, the bandʼs lineup has gradually evolved to include violinist Ben Karas, bassist Cody McCorry, drummer Joe Fadem, trumpeter Joe Gullace and saxophonist Sam Greenfield. Thank You Scientist has spent the past several years touring internationally, both as headliners and as direct support for acts such as Coheed and Cambria, Periphery, Haken, Protest the Hero, the Devin Townsend Project, and Tim Allen.
► Guitarist Tom Monda about the album: “This album probably features some of Sal’s most personal lyrics, juxtaposed with some far reaching and topical stuff that is new for us. There are conceptual threads linking the music and lyrics but we prefer that the listeners discover and interpret them on their own. “Terraforming” in really general terms is taking a planet or some type of celestial body and making it inhabitable for humans. I thought this was a fitting metaphor for the band, in terms of the changes we had gone through in the past two years. I felt totally creatively renewed, and I think scope of the album speaks to that”.
► “Terraformer” is the band’s second studio release on the label formed by Coheed and Cambria’s Claudio Sanchez and is the band’s most ambitious to date. The album features more than an hour and 20 minutes on a 2~disc set.
► “Terraformer” was recorded at The Barber Shop in Hopatcong NJ and engineer Mike Ferretti’s studio in Ringwood, NJ. Main songwriter and guitarist Tom Monda oversaw production, along with contributions from the band.
► The front cover was designed by Templar, who also designed the album art for the group’s previous record “Stranger Heads Prevail”.
► “We’re really excited about this new album. We’ve put in so much work into this limited bundle to make sure it’s perfect, and we hope our fans agree and help us crush our release week. We’re a bunch of weirdos making music for weirdos that still care about weird music, and I think that’s a beautiful thing”, commetns Tom Monda.
► The album marks the first recordings of the Thank You Scientist’s new lineup, which includes Joe Fadem on drums, Sam Greenfield on Sax, and Joe Gullace on trumpet.
► “The new members were all guys that myself, Ben, and Cody play with in Cody’s band ‘We Used to Cut the Grass’. They were all a big part of the writing and arranging process for this album and I feel very lucky to be in a band with them”, says Monda.
► In only a few years Thank You Scientist have created a loyal and dedicated following with their unique style and indescribable sound through the albums “Maps of Non~Existent Place”s (re~released in 2014), and “Stranger Heads Prevail” in 2016 via Evil Ink Records). The band has also toured with the likes of Periphery, Haken, Devin Townsend, as well as Coheed and Cambria, cementing themselves as a must~see live act.
POSTED BY JORDAN BLUM ON JUNE 13, 2019 AT 2:50 PM. SCORE: 9
► With their first two LPs — 2012’s Maps of Non~Existent Places and 2016’s Stranger Heads Prevail — New Jersey septet Thank You Scientist proved to be the kings of melding high~pitched catchiness, tongue~in~cheek antics, and overwhelmingly advanced yet accessible symphonic mixtures of progressive rock/metal, jazz fusion, and more. Signed to Coheed and Cambria frontman Claudio Sanchez’s Evil Ink Records, Thank You Scientist endearingly veer far more toward virtuosic unpredictability and playfulness than peers such as Closure in Moscow, Good Tiger, and Circa Survive. Thankfully, they outdo themselves yet again on Terraformer, their brand new set. A two~disc whirlwind of contagious hooks and magnificently sporadic and sophisticated instrumentation, it’s a tour~de~force of outstanding musicianship and melodies from start to finish.
► Lead guitarist/songwriter Tom Monda describes the band as “a bunch of weirdos making music for weirdos that still care about weird music,” and that certainly remains true. In fact, this distinction is made even more palpable with the addition of drummer Joe Fadem, trumpeter Joe Gullace, and saxophonist Sam Greenfield (all of whom make their debut here). Alongside mainstays Monda, Salvatore Marrano (vocals), Ben Karas (violin), and Cody McCorry (bass), they ensure that Thank You Scientist have never sounded more expansive, varied, and dynamically capricious. As such, Terraformer is their most rewarding sequence yet (even if it takes more listens than usual to fully appreciate).
► Thank You Scientist’s main strength is their unshakable knack for constructing music that’s at once formidably intricate and friskily inviting. In a way, they’re the true successor to The Mars Volta — that is, until the duo’s comeback — and nearly every track on this album excels at exemplifying why. Specifically, opener “Wrinkle” is a mostly mellow showcase for exquisite horn motifs on top of mystifyingly irregular rhythmic accompaniments. Thus, it’s a superb introduction to both the new members and the record. Things become more transcendental and programmed with “Birdwatching,” whereas “Everyday Ghosts” is a meticulous synthesis of styles whose nonstop twists and turns are as entertainingly gripping as they are tightly technical. As Terraformer winds down, “Life of Vermin” adds some Latin and European flavor to its acoustic asides and electric madness (including one of Monda’s most simple yet hypnotic riffs to date). Next, “Shatner’s Lament” is a dreamy interlude that evokes tinges of 1950s lounge/swing prior to the rest of the LP continuing its erratic grandeur.
► Of course, Marrano’s soaring singing a chief component of Thank You Scientist as well, and he undoubtedly stirs up some superlative moments on this collection. Early on, “FXMLDR” radiates with different renditions of a riveting chorus. Then, his multilayered fervor helping make “Swarm” joyously captivating. Eventually, “Anchor” places his pointed passion in~between softer cascades of stacked sentiments. In contrast, “New Moon” is a gentler and more soulful performance that partially serves to juxtapose the relatively antagonistic and biting deliveries of the closing title track. Just as his bandmates have never sounded more full~bodied and capable, Marrano has never displayed so much range and confidence.
► In every possible way, Terraformer is a benchmark for Thank You Scientist. True, there’s nothing as immediately infectious as, say, “Caverns” from their sophomore outing; however, there is still an overwhelming amount of hooks — musically and vocally — that incentivize numerous playthroughs in the midst of the album’s larger~than~life scale. In other words, Terraformer is the septet’s most mature, epic, challenging, and nuanced work thus far, and it’s a must own for anyone who loves catchy songwriting and boundlessly creative and complex arrangements. ► https://metalinjection.net/
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