The Scientists: A Place Called Bad (Numero Group)
The evolution of Australia’s Scientists took the band from scruffy pop punk to something altogether dark and sinister. A new four-CD set collects the band’s complete studio recordings and an archival live set.
Helmed by Kim Salmon, the band began in Perth in the late ’70s with all the energy of like-minded bands. Like their English contemporaries Spaceman 3, The Scientists had impeccable taste in influences—The Stooges, Captain Beefheart, The Ramones, The Cramps and The Gun Club. But re-listening to The Scientists in light of the recent passing of Alan Vega suggests that NYC’s minimalist duo Suicide was just as much Salmon’s blueprint.
At their best The Scientists mined a deep, throbbing sound that drilled like Peter Gunn splashed with LSD. Their menacing ’60s-gone-wrong image perfectly matched the mutant swamp rockabilly/blues post-punk hybrid they played.