Fabulous Sydney electro-funk-space rock trio Art Vs. Science have come out of the woodwork for the release of their 2nd studio album Off the Edge of the Earth and Into Forever & Ever. The trio have kept very active in the public light over the years, managing to release at least an album, EP or single throughout every year since they cracked into our hearts in 2009. So does Off the Edge of the Earth and Into Forever & Ever reach the high standard that their amazing critically acclaimed debut The Experiment has set?
In short, no, no it does not. Going into this album I was excited as hell, with AVS being one of my favourite acts. As previously mentioned, the band has managed to constantly be in the public eye, releasing a bunch of music every year since their winning of triple j unearthed’s Splendour competition back in 2009. Even managing to reach number 2 on Australia’s favourite countdown, triple j’s Hottest 100 back in 2009 with the awesome Parlez vous Francais?
Since those days, the band released the magic fountain EP, the Create/ Destroy EP and of course, their ARIA award winning debut album The Experiment. In short, they’ve worked ridiculously hard at becoming one of Australia’s proudest achievements. Having said this, we now delve into the latest offering Off the Edge of the Earth and Into Forever & Ever.
Now don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate this album by a long shot, I did quite enjoy it. However having given the band’s escalating status of awesomeness over the years gave this some majorly high expectations, and it just didn’t quite reach them, which was a bit of a let down.
Off the Edge of the Earth and Into Forever & Ever displays some absolutely classic Art Vs. Science elements. It’s very futuresque, and very out-of-this-world in its style. Although every song is quite accessible and easy to listen to, there are no evident mega standout hits, which is pretty disappointing since The Experiment had at least 6-7 absolute bangers with the rest being the softer, lovely experimental tunes.
With obvious David Bowie – Space Odyssey & Daft Punk influences present, what with the robotic vocals, futuristic synth chords and countless references to outer space (especially in both songs Stars parts 1 & 2), it’s evident that the band has chosen a very specific. To be fair, they stuck to it and executed it pretty well, with the theme being a whacky, space-pop, psychedelic, futuristic trance, exploring-the galaxies-through-the power-of-dance type vibe.
I cannot stress enough that it’s not a BAD album, it just didn’t live up to the high expectations that Art Vs. Science set for themselves. The definite standout track on Off the Edge of the Earth and Into Forever & Ever comes in near the end, a beautifully constructed ballad titled Diana. Its opening is perhaps the rawest on the album, with a really well constructed guitar riff leading into classic awesome production. This is the type of song that would have been one of the lovely, slow burning ones on The Experiment.
In my honest opinion, I believe that Off the Edge of the Earth and Into Forever & Ever would have received more praise and affection from the Australian if it were labeled an ‘experimental EP’ rather than a second studio album. If they had of cut half of the songs out of it and left in their the definite stronger tunes such as In This Together, Chosen One, Tired of Pretending, Diana and When It’s All Over.
Overall, if you are an Art Vs. Science fan I do recommend giving it a listen. It compliments the band’s ability to push and expand their boundaries in songwriting and overall theme setting. Let’s hope the next effort we hear from them is more in-sync with all of their previous works. I give Off the Edge of the Earth and Into Forever & Ever a 6.5/10.