Science Man is the alter ego solo project of John Toohill (Alpha Hopper / Radiation Risks). It’s a crude rock and roll machine churning out catchy, scatterbrained, yet relentless songs. Bashing, guitar driven, and nothing quirky-cute or mechanized-sounding about it even with it’s drum machine backbone.
Our take: Debut vinyl from this new project which is an alter ego of John Toohill, whom you might also know as the singer for Radiation Risks. While Science Man features a prominent drum machine and might sound at first listen like S.B.F., Race Car, or other drum machine punk bands from the past few years, they have their own thing going on. When some bands use a drum machine, it can sound like a poor stand-in for a live drummer, but Science Man does a good job of playing to the instrument’s strengths, namely the big sound and the ability to create fast and precise rhythms. While the vibe of the music is very different, the way Science Man uses the drum machine as effectively as a band like Big Black. As for the songs themselves, they range from quirky, Warm Bodies-esque weird hardcore (“Love Potent”) to a punky take on 90s noise rock (“Victor”) to Dead Kennedys-esque surf punk (“Before You Know You’re Dead”). The record is super high energy, sounds great, and it’s packed with memorable moments. Definitely a recommended listen, particularly if you’ve enjoyed a lot of stuff on labels like Neck Chop and Erste Theke Tontraeger.