Scientific Superstar's Doomed Lucky Day | Record Review | Indy Week
Pin It

Scientific Superstar's Doomed Lucky Day 

(Subdivision 67)

click to enlarge 12.30musreview_scientificsu.gif

Animal, vegetable or mineral? Half the fun of Scientific Superstar is trying to guess what they are. The Durham trio defies traditional genre markers, blending guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and samples in very unusual ways. Add vocalist Junko Berglund, who sings largely in Japanese, and you have perhaps the Triangle's most unconventional group.

Formed nearly three years ago, Scientific Superstar was initially the duo of bassist Thomas Devries and drummer/ sampling star Paul Gallant. They released a self-titled album in 2007 on Subdivision 67 and had already begun work on their latest, Doomed Lucky Day, when they discovered Berglund singing with her other band, Fujiyama Roll. To Gallant she was a revelation, and soon after they recorded the title track's vocals with her, she joined the band as a full-time member.

Their eight-track arrival sidles down deep mid-tempo grooves whose sturdy rhythms and emphasis on electronics suggest Particle, in thrall to the oddball charms of King Missile, Frank Zappa and Shonen Knife. Though generally short (in and out in less than 20 minutes), most of the tracks feature at least a couple of hairpin musical curves and plenty of percolating textures, like a soundtrack for that 3-D pipe-building screensaver. A troika of highlights offer the evidence: "Sam's Quick Stop" opens with 25 seconds of Japanese before settling into a jazz-funk swing, with Gallant channeling his inner John S. Hall as he contemplates the pickled egg-and-beer peddling bounty of Durham's best beer store. With its xylophone-abetted bounce and gauzy washes of synth, the slinky "March of the Unknowns" is a lilting bossa nova lullaby. But "Renewing My Green Card" lands best—inventive electronic curliques underpin an infectious melody along with some very distant but very cool background guitar skronk. Meanwhile, Berglund recounts the title experience—"a super DMV, where the lines are twice as long and the people twice as pissed."

Multiple listens don't put much of a handle on Doomed Lucky Day. That's OK: The ride's fun enough to get back in line and try again.

Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Record Review



Twitter Activity

Comments

DJWurkz just become a new fan! I will see them live at first opportunity I get.

by Keith Ramon DjWurkz on Record Review: Youth League's Second EP Is a Propulsive, Powerful Effort (Record Review)

I'm all in on this album. Love the sound, love Amelia's soaring vocals. She brings a humanizing element to electronic …

by aburtch on Record Review: Sylvan Esso Refines its Slick Synth Pop Formula on What Now (Record Review)

Most Read

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Most Recent Comments

DJWurkz just become a new fan! I will see them live at first opportunity I get.

by Keith Ramon DjWurkz on Record Review: Youth League's Second EP Is a Propulsive, Powerful Effort (Record Review)

I'm all in on this album. Love the sound, love Amelia's soaring vocals. She brings a humanizing element to electronic …

by aburtch on Record Review: Sylvan Esso Refines its Slick Synth Pop Formula on What Now (Record Review)

This record is "All Over the Place". I mean that in the best way possible.

by hubbble on Record Review: Trust Trandle's Comfortable Instrumental Hip-Hop (Record Review)

Love it! All the songs are beautiful!

by Jon Champion on Record Review: The Return of The Veldt, The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation, Is Great (Record Review)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation