New Jersey progressive brainiacs Thank You Scientist have been a name spoken of in the highest esteem around these parts since the release of their debut, full length album Maps of Non-Existent Places in 2012. That album was the sonic equivalent of the snakes in a can gag for the unsuspecting listener. Upon opening it up, you find yourself assaulted with an overwhelming abundance of sunny Coheed and Cambria-indebted melodies, cacophonous swirls of guitar riffs and horn hits, and maze-like song structures that cycle through every kind of danceable jazzy rock imaginable. It represented many of the best aspects and possibilities of prog rock as challenging and complex music that could still be catchy, accessible, and fun as hell to listen to.
Since then, the band have been hard at work building upon the successes of that album, touring with the aforementioned Coheed and Cambria and eventually being signed to Coheed vocalist Claudio Sanchez’s nascent record label Evil Ink Records (who quickly put out a remixed and remastered version of Maps). It’s been 4 years since their last original release though, and anticipation had reached fever pitch for fans looking for more. Would their follow-up sound too similar or too different from Maps? Would the band push themselves and their sound to new places or seek to plant their flag firmly in the soil already tilled? Thankfully, and rather gleefully, we’re happy to report that that follow-up, entitled Stranger Heads Prevail, completely smashes through any fear of a sophomore slump by simply doing what they’ve always done, just better.