It will not surprise some that this spunky '80s-nostalgia trio with a penchant for jagged guitar lines and jumpy rhythms hails from Brooklyn. If you tossed the Killers, Franz Ferdinand, and Bloc Party into a blender and added that dissipated vocal croon endemic to New York (the Strokes, the Walkmen), you could pour your own We Are Scientists. The debut, With Love and Squalor, demonstrates a love for British rock -- from the dark, dancey single "Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt," which sounds like New Order given a Gang of Four facelift, to the infectious "The Great Escape," which recalls pre-op Oasis (before they lost their balls). Though the band gets no points for originality, the execution is solid, and the writing is far better than, say, the Vines'.
Arrive early for opener Au Revoir Simone, whose "triple keyboard action" is complemented by the three ladies' sweet harmonies. Together they make beautiful, slowly fluttering music that's as enveloping as fog and gentle as dew.