Art vs Science are back. And before you go jumping down my throat with the ‘they didn’t go anywhere!’s, the truth is that they did. Regardless of how well received their 2014 EP was, you cannot deny that the Sydney trio at one point trod a tightrope hovering over either falling into a party jam void or striking out into material perhaps too experimental for the fans ready to take off their tops with each French command.
Off the Edge of the Earth and Into Forever, Forever is representative of a restructured approach to the same fun and spirited music we know Art vs Science have always been capable of producing – an album that is sharp, full of confidence and great musical execution.
The Daft Punk and Justice comparisons will make themselves known as the album goes on (“You’ve Got to Stop”, “Unity”), but the appreciation for French house isn’t presented as a pastiche; the production and vocals layered on “You’ve Got to Stop” particularly are slick and sit well alongside the hazed out trip that is the “Stars” two-parter, the guitars on “Diana” and “When It’s All Over”, and the chord progressions of “Tired of Pretending”. There’s far more balance of texture on Off the Edge of the Earth… than there was on Art vs Science’s debut, The Experiment; each track on this album snatches the spotlight in its own way but as a whole, pieces together really well.
Lead track and first single, “In This Together”, is probably the one track on the album I could do without; no doubt a ‘banger’ live, it’s easily forgotten where other songs stand out once I’m done listening to the record in its entirety.
Art vs Science have always been about ensuring their audience is with them each step of the way with their music, whether it’s via their increasingly out-there music videos, huge live show presence or with each single that manages to stick out on its own amongst its predecessors each time. This album shows that time away hasn’t stopped the trio from continuing to push further into new sonic territory. They’re still a group who can write some delectable, sophisticated electro-pop jams and have them feature alongside a tune about bongos. Jump off the edge with the band on this one, this trip they’ve got ready is a great ride.
Review Score: 8.0 out of 10.
Off the Edge of the Earth and Into Forever, Forever is out on Friday, October 9th through Magellanic/MGM.