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SCIENTIFIC AMERICANS (Buy CDs by this artist)
Load and Go! [tape] (ROIR) 1982

The Sci-Ams developed from a plain-vanilla Mssachusetts new wave outfit into skillful purveyors of punked up dub reggae. The three specimens of their live sound included here show versatility, from full and flowing ("U 235") to lean and jerky ("Service Dub," one of the few tracks with drumming). The studio material, best represented by "Fascist," is synth-pop without the usual vapidity. Weak point: sophomorically morbid lyrics. Strong point: they never let go of the (usually synthetic) beat.

[Mark Fleischmann]