Review by Shannon Shumaker
To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I listened to Thank You Scientist’s Maps Of Non-Existent Places for the first time. I had heard of the band before, and from what I had heard, they were not something to be missed. And within the first few tracks of Maps Of Non-Existent Places, Thank You Scientist prove that assumption to be absolutely true.
The prelude track on the album builds suspense, but then it fades out and the horns come in on “A Salesman’s Guide To Nonexistence” and within seconds, Thank You Scientist are showcasing just what it is that they’re all about. The overall songwriting on this record is absolutely jaw dropping, which is no surprise coming from the ridiculously talented seven-piece who collectively play over twenty instruments. The vocals on Maps Of Non-Existent Places are incredible, but on top of that, the guitar work is amazing, the rhythm section is on point and the trumpet, saxophone and violin parts add an amazing, jazzy level to this album that no other bands are doing right now, period.
Thank You Scientists sound is like jazz fusion meets progressive rock mixed with classical, metal, and even psychadelic pop undertones. But don’t let the “progressive” label scare you - while normally I can’t make it completely through any other “progressive rock” albums, I was practically hungry for more with Thank You Scientist. With every song that passed I was anxiously waiting to see what they did next, and that’s exactly what an incredible album should do to a listener.
While it’s hard to choose a favorite track on Maps Of Non-Existent Places, the third song on the album, “Feed The Horses” is a very strong contender. The violin in the beginning of the track is gorgeous and when the horns and Mars Volta style vocals come in, I’m in love. Honestly, though, the entire album is just anthematic, theatrical and absolutely mind-blowing. Every single track on Maps Of Non-Existent Places brings something new to the table, (especially the final two tracks, which sound nothing like one another but somehow mesh flawlessly) making it impossible to get bored of this album. Maps Of Non-Existent Places is a masterpiece - you’re definitely missing out if you haven’t given it a listen yet!
Listen to "Feed The Horses"