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The Selfish Gene

Who? Natives of Madison, Wisconsin, where three of the band members initially rubbed elbows at University of Wisconsin in 1998, Michael Weber (guitar/keyboard/vocals), Matt Allen (guitar/vocals) and Eric Andraska (bass/vocals) got hooked up with drummer Mark Marsh and doled out a few EPs before self-releasing their debut, Self-Defeating Human Beings in 2005. Their sophomore effort, The Grand Masquerade is slated for fall.

What’s the Deal? Like how a gene is rich with assorted genetic materials, the band’s sound is a composite of influences ranging from as far back as ELO to the more modern Spoon. A splash of nostalgic ’60s harmonies graces “Autopilot,” where a metaphoric spaceship reference gives the song a layered texture, while electronic sparkles pave the way for grunge on “Archipelagos.” The Selfish Gene lighten the mood on “Fist Fed Up” and “Overboard,” which gracefully swing from one musical segment to another, a tactic used throughout The Grand Masquerade.

Fun Fact: The Selfish Gene non-pretentiously draw influence from classic works of literature. Their moniker derives from the book The Selfish Gene penned by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, while the track “So It Goes” is inspired by the verbal crutch of Kurt Vonnegut’s masterpiece Slaughterhouse-Five. STEVEN J. HOROWITZ

Now Hear This: The Selfish Gene – “Autopilot”

Now Watch This: The Selfish Gene – “Prince Anthony”

On the Web:
The Selfish Gene at MySpace

Talk: Does naming your band after a scientific book make you nerdy by default?

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