Despite what many purists may think, alternative prog is a real thing. Progressive music comes in many forms, and New Jersey's juggernaut of a band (with seven full-time members!), Thank You Scientist, is living proof of the potential of this oxymoronic genre. Take Coheed and Cambria, add a dash of Yellowcard with their catchy choruses and prominent violin, mix them thoroughly, and finally, wrap them up with some Trioscapes alla complex bass-driven rhythms and brass sections to get your finished product. If done incorrectly, this combination would be just plain disgusting, but I swear Thank You Scientist has carefully refined this blending of styles in their own way to create an absolutely delicious musical treat. I've been hooked all summer, and now it's your turn to try.
2012's Maps of Non-Existent Places is a great place to start, with 10 tracks clocking in just under an hour that traverse the farthest boundaries of stylistic blending. A short Dear Hunter-esque prelude leads the listener into relatively straightforward opener, "A Salesman's Guide to Non-Existence," still running at over five minutes, but it doesn't get too crazy—yet. "Feed the Horses" quickly changes that, though, immediately opening with an off-the-wall brass rhythm that somehow transitions perfectly into a simple chorus that's just begging for crowd participation. The crazy thing is that, at this point, Thank You Scientist is only getting started. There's the extended jazz interlude during "Suspicious Waveforms," euphoric concluding guitar solos in "Blood on the Radio," and so much more to dive into on this record.
It's been over a year since Thank You Scientist has spoke of new music, so keep an eye out for a welcomed recording announcement in the future. While we wait, we thankfully have two dense releases from a fantastic buried treasure that will continue to surprise and impress long after the year is over. No, thank you, scientist.