The Scientists went through many incarnations in their 9 year history but are remembered mostly for the lineup that existed from 1981 to 1985. Kim Salmon, Tony Thewlis, Boris Sujdovic and Brett Rixon together had the peculiar chemistry that produced the classics, Swampland, Happy Hour, the Blood Red River mini LP and We had Love. With a sound that was swampy, primal and modern-urban all at once - as much in the tradition of rock and roll and punk rock as it was a rejection of those things, the Scientists' formula was as universal as it was specific to their own experience. They were about what it was like to be young and living in modern times in an Australian urban/suburban environment. The themes of getting wasted on alcohol and drugs, driving round in hotted up cars, being trapped in crap jobs and paranoia were their subject matter. Machine throb bass and drums with jagged car wreck guitars were their modus operandi. Fitting into no place or time they spurned all but the most rudimentary and elemental of rock structures along with other peoples modes of embellishment. They rejected the contemporary sound and look and so consequently were never able to carry around baggage that would allow them to date.
"The Scientists turned my head around and made a man out of me! They grew hair on my palms and made my socks stink!"—Jon Spencer
"They wrote fantastic singles and looked like they just crawled out of the ooze. What more could you ask for?"—Warren Ellis
"The Scientists proved to me that rock n roll could be played by gentlemen in fine silk shirts half unbuttoned and still be dirty, cool and real."—Thurston Moore