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We Are Scientists, ‘Brain Thrust Mastery’ (Astralwerks)

Julia Simon // May 15, 2008

The title of the second LP by this Brooklyn synth-rockduo (formerly a trio) loosely alludes to singer Keith Murray’s newly discreet, mind-over- body m.o. On 2006’s flashy major-label debut With Love and Squalor — a surprise gold-seller in England — Murray boozed until he blacked out and invited ladies to use and abuse his body. But on the glitzy rave-ups here, he’s hesitant, intoning on “Altered Beast,” “I should take my time / I should think this through.” Spiky single “After Hours” — which bites some moves off the Killers’ Hot Fuss — may nod to his band’s former reckless ways, but Murray doesn’t sound like he’s going anywhere but straight home after last call.

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