An album review for Mess+Noise. Excerpt below.
On debut album ‘The Experiment’, Art Vs. Science understand that repetition is the foundation of dance music – but it’s a trick that wears thin, writes ANDREW MCMILLEN.
Popular culture generally exists to meet demand. Most artists spend their lives attempting to offer works that resonate with as wide an audience as possible. By tapping into popular sentiments, savvy artists can short-circuit the often lengthy process of artistic acceptance. Case in point: Art Vs. Science, who – legend has it – formed on the spot while its three members stood watching Daft Punk playing in Sydney some years ago. The crowd was going bonkers for two dudes in robot suits atop a glowing pyramid. They probably stood and wondered aloud: “Why not us?”
Following on from a high-profile spot at Splendour In The Grass in 2008, thanks largely to debut single ‘Flippers’ – whose goofy chorus was comprised entirely of “Hey! Ho! Use your flippers to get down!” – and nearly topping the 2009 triple j Hottest 100 with ‘Parlez Vous Francais?’, Art Vs. Science have emerged with their first album, The Experiment. True to form, it’s packed from top to tail with brash electronica, delivered with their now-trademark dance-punk attitude. Here, we hear guitars furiously tapping away at fretboards during oh-so obvious breakdowns that lead into slamming synth-led choruses; all custom-made for hands-in-the-air dance festival sets. (By the by, this is a band who’s known for performing live covers of ‘Where’s Your Head At?’ and ‘Boom! Shake The Room’ to tents full of peaking munters).
In isolation, The Experiment is a dull record, because these songs won’t come to life until they’re heard and felt in a live environment. A five-minute instrumental rave-up like ‘Meteor (I Feel Fine)’ sounds foolish playing on your home stereo (though interestingly, it’s the closest they’ve gotten to sounding like Daft Punk). Several songs here are based around single words or short phrases – ‘Higher’, ‘Bumblebee’, ‘Sledgehammer’ – which seem to be included for the sole purpose of giving crowds something nonsensical to shout amid the pulsing synth din.