WE ARE THE PHYSICS celebrate the announcement of some ‘live’ dates that take in both Aberdare, Wales and Moscow, Russia (!!) with the video of another track taken from their second album, ‘Your Friend, The Atom,’ which was released last year.
‘Go Go Nucleo – > For Science‘ was directed by Joe and Lloyd Stas of Holomax.
“With the band being based 283.2 miles away from us it wasn’t that easy to get together and do a video so we succumbed to the ultimate power of Cyberman and sent some files back and forth over the internet. Then we cut it all together with some ace mid century educational videos about the power of the atom and how you have to rinse your eyes out with water if you get nuclear radiation in them. It took us about five months to finish it off as we couldn’t persuade anyone to get brainwashed as we wanted pure authenticity. Luckily our friend Tom was in a period of depression so we convinced him that being brainwashed would help him. He’s dead now.”
This is where you can see the band play in the coming weeks:
29th March Kaluga, Russia
30th March Moscow, Russia
13th April Glasgow Old Hairdresser’s
16th May London Brixton Windmill
17th May Aberdare Elliot’s Bar
18th May Brighton Fools Paradise & Bad Math Alternative Escape
19th May Newcastle Head of Steam
To ‘celebrate’ the end of the world which supposedly happened at eleven minutes past eleven this morning, WE ARE THE PHYSICS have released this video … which will be taken down tomorrow (Saturday 22nd December. Maybe.)
I’m not gonna waste any time over it … the soundtrack is one of my favourite songs (‘Olivia Neutron Bomb,’ ) taken from the band’s latest album, ‘Your Friend, The Atom,’
Tell you what: bassist and vocalist Michael M is always good for a quote – let’s get him to do the talking.
“I was reading this thing that I might’ve just imagined about scientists constructing sperm from human bone marrow that would, ultimately, render the male genitalia completely useless as a reproductive organ. I think it might’ve been in an issue of TV Quick. So we wrote the song about how redundant the male would become, unable to compete with artificial counterparts, reducing the flesh penis to a cozy piece of old world technology like a Nokia from the 90s, but veiny. It’s not so much a warning as an undermining of patriarchal ideas, and also we released it on 7″ and that’s a wee laugh.”
That’s all you need to know!
(Oh! And you can buy a copy of the 7″ here.)
(At least it’s not a floppy disc – that’s my wee laugh!)
During their recent session with Marc Riley on Radio 6 Music, it was mentioned that WE ARE THE PHYSICS first appeared on the show some five years ago in 2007. That was also the year I recorded my first interview for ARTROCKER MAGAZINE – the subject matter being, yeah …. WE ARE THE PHYSICS. (If I remember correctly ,we were banished out into the cold winter air when Michael Guitar was refused a beer at the bar because he could not prove his age …. despite the band being provided with crates of complimentary beer in their dressing room!)
Anyway, since then WATP have released their debut album to much critical acclaim; produced a couple of now sold-out singles; toured the UK several times; played shows in Russia, Japan, Finland (alongside several death-metal bands – work that one out!) and toured with / supported bands as varied as Polysics (their favourite early inspirational band) Franz Ferdinand, Art Brut and 30 Seconds To Mars.
Consequently, their hyperactive brand of ‘b-movie-sci-fi-punk’ (it’s really not too easy to define their sound!) has reached a large and varied audience and the combination of their almost comic book appearance and stage antics together with this rather indefinable sound has endeared them to pretty much everyone who has seen / heard them.
A few cynical commentators (who were likely just in a foul mood ‘cause somebody stole their scone) point to the similarity in style that runs throughout the WATP songs. Yeah, OK – I don’t suppose you can deny the formula of abrupt, jerky, manic guitar; staccato, yelped vocals; hand claps and machine gun attack drums. But listen to within the ‘style’ and you will certainly hear variation enough. And more often than not, that ‘variation,’ be it guitar effects, samples or just clever, synchronised vocal interplay between the band, will raise a smile. Although, perhaps maybe not quite so much on ‘There Is No Cure For The Common Cold So Don’t Expect A Cure For Cancer’ – I don’t think they were playing for laughs on this one.
In fact, this is one of the songs where indeed the ‘style’ of music has actually taken a turn for WATP. It shows they can slow the pace and be a little more reflective. Of course, this doesn’t last too long as the next track is ‘Goran Ivanisevic’ – an homage to the Croatian ex-tennis player. And although songs like the crowd favourite ‘Napoleon Loves Josephine’ hark back to the ‘old’ Physics, I can sense a subtle change within ‘Your Friend, The Atom.’
This change comes partly as a result of the band’s growing maturity (sounds strange, doesn’t it – the word ‘maturity’ being used in context with WATP?!) but also I think the production sounds slicker than on the debut ‘ … Are OK At Music’ album. There seems to be a more rounded sound; more depth. And in places, there is more of a harder edge to the music; a little heavier. For example, ‘Eat Something’ crashes in more like Mad Capsule Markets than Polysics … although ultimately there’s no mistaking it’s a WATP song!
Likewise, ‘Junkie Buns’ kicks in with a more conventional rock refrain and although ‘Circuit Babies’ is more like what we’d expect from the band, they incorporate a kind of stern, disciplined Russian sounding chorus.
But perhaps the real indicator as to where WE ARE THE PHYSICS are headed is in the final track, ‘Olivia Neutron Bomb.’ This is their first venture into ‘anthemic rock’ and is arguably the best on the album. It’s certainly different to all the other thirteen, what with its chugging, Blink 182 / Box Car Racer styled rhythm and all.
Maybe, like Olivia’s character Sandy in the final scene of ‘Grease,’ we are to witness a transformation and style change of dramatic proportions? I wouldn’t be surprised … but then, who really knows where WE ARE THE PHYSICS are concerned?
(Released through This Is Fake DIY Records on 22nd October 2012)
(10 / 10 – obviously!)
A pre-release copy of ‘Your Friend, The Atom,’ the long-awaited follow-up to their brilliant debut album ‘We Are The Physics Are OK At Music,’ arrived this morning and all of a sudden, Monday morning became quite good.
WE ARE THE PHYSICS, despite their modest protestations, are in my opinion probably the best band to come out of Glasgow / Scotland in a very long time. Well .. one of them, at least, and so you just know that when the album review appears on this blog in a few days time, it’s gonna be a beezer.
But in the meantime, here’s a taster of what to expect on the album itself. ‘Napoleon Loves Josephine‘ is actually an old song and has been virtually a ‘constant’ in their set list for as long as I can remember.
Vocalist Michael M explains:
“This song’s been kicking about our live set for ages, but it took us about sixteen thousand (approx) recordings before we were happy with it. We wrote it about people using other people for personal gain, often mutually. It’s about manipulation and parasitic personalities and the inevitable consequences of being trapped in a cage of your own making. Wee Napoleon just got dragged into it because Josephine wasn’t actually Josephine’s name, he just renamed her. The lyrics fall vaguely over the bones of their story, but it’s not specifically about them, despite us shouting their names over and over again like Derek Acorah trying to summon ghosts who all have Liverpudlian accents. We make sure we play this song at every gig because our drummer, Michaeldrum, gets really tired playing it and one of the only pleasures we have in life is seeing him in pain.”
The band will also be playing the following dates to support the album release:
16 Oct BIRMINGHAM Hare & Hounds*
17 Oct OXFORD Jericho*
18 Oct KINGSTON Banquet Records instore (6pm)
18 Oct KINGSTON New Slang at McClusky’s*
19 Oct ABERDARE Elliot’s Bar
20 Oct BRIGHTON Prince Albert
21 Oct MANCHESTER Carefully Planned Festival
31 Oct GLASGOW 13th Note
07 Dec EDINBURGH Voodoo Rooms
08 Dec LONDON Buffalo Bar
*with We Were Promised Jetpacks
Following on from the international success that was ’Goran Ivanisevic‘, Glasgow four-piece science punks We Are The Physics offer a further taste of what to expect from their forthcoming second album with a brand new single.
Clocking in at a touch under three minutes, ’Applied Robotics’ shows off the quartet at their blistering best, as frenetic and fast-paced as their phenomenal live show, as infectious and immediate as any rock single this year.
Vocalist Michael M tells us more.
“We’ve had ‘Applied Robotics’ as a live staple for a while and generally stop to take photos of each other in the middle of the song as a future indicator of the very moment we get bored of playing it. It’s fairly indicative of the general theme of our new record which is the democratisation of high technology and how it becomes an almost invisible and underwhelming extension of our bodies. We thought maybe we no longer appreciate how powerful the technology we take for granted is and we wondered at which point we’ll merge with it completely like robo-folks. It could’ve already happened if you regard even wearing glasses or contact lenses as high technology, which it certainly was at one point. Also, we just liked shouting ‘robotics’ so everything we just said is retro-fitting justification. It’s more about shouting.”
‘Goran Ivanisevic‘ received a great reception both online and off, the band featuring in Q, the Guardian, and the Telegraph websites alongside many more, the track played on BBC 6 Music and Amazing Radio in addition to various podcasts and regional stations, and also saw the foursome featured across various Croatian media – including on TV channels and in the country’s largest tabloid.
We Are The Physics are additionally set to hit the big screen, as they are have been filming scenes for ‘God Help The Girl’, the musical feature film written and directed by Belle & Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch, starring as band ‘Wobbly Legged Rat’.
They are currently booking live dates nationwide, with the following confirmed so far:
19 Glasgow Mono w/ Bis
22 Edinburgh Electric Circus w/ Churches
How good at music are Glasgow’s WE ARE THE PHYSICS?
Pure, dead good! That’s how good! Don’t listen to their pish about being ‘OK.’ They’re brilliant, right?!
However, when they say they’re proper rubbish at tennis, then I’d be inclined to agree. Which makes the title of their new single all the more surprising. ‘Goran Ivanisevic,’ is the first track to be lifted from the band’s forthcoming second album which is due for release later this year.
Yeah – that Goran Ivanisevic. The tall Croatian tennis player who won Wimbledon back in 2001, despite only qualifying for the tournament as a ‘wild card’ entry.
Vocalist Michael M explains: “We know zero about tennis, but Goran has always been one of our heroes just because of the sheer determination he had, having lost the title several times and the fact he claimed at every match he was playing against five different opponents, one of which was himself. And also the ball boys. After losing a title he said he was going to kill himself, then after beating Tim Henman he claimed he was genius. Just that furious drive and refusal to quit in the face of worldwide sneering, we’ve always thought was equally admirable and terrifying”.
There’s no point in even attempting to comment on what / how or why WE ARE THE PHYSICS are inspired in such fashion. They just are.
And I for one am so happy to have them back. We’ve missed you guys!
(‘Goran Ivanisevic’ is available as free download for a limited period of time from the band’s Soundcloud entry.)
JARED GILMAN, star of the latest Wes Anderson film, Moonrise Kingdom,
and MICHAEL M, frontman of Glasgow’s globe-trotting artrockers and purveyors of mutant science-fiction punk, WE ARE THE PHYSICS.
For their new UK tour dates and an unmissable invitation to see where all the action! action! action! action! action! takes place, click here.