Mad Science Fair

For a Better Tomorrow

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Although Mad Science Fair have loosely been classified as power pop by some observers, they have a grungier, buzzier edge than most such groups of 2005 vintage. The swing between somewhat restrained, quieter passages and distorted, assaultive ones -- such a common feature of much post-1990 alternative rock, almost to the point of cliché -- appears on a few of the tracks. While they play taut, concise songs with a straining passion, sung with slightly reedy assurance by guitarist Mike Clayton, it's hard to pick this out of the crowd when there are (and were) so many guitar bands using similar elements. The song titles "Green Day vs. Weezer" and "Retro Anthem" hint at a sense of ironic humor, but, alas, those songs are actually fairly straightforward efforts without twists that distinguish them from their surroundings.

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