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Best of Olympia 2012 Music: Best New Band - Science!

Weekly Volcano readers pick Science as the best new band in Thurston County

SCIENCE!: Justin Stang and Jim Elenteny were voted Olympia's Best New Band. Photo credit: Patrick Snapp

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There's excitement behind Justin Stang and Jim Elenteny's new band, Science!, a project fully realized in Olympia over the last year but born out of the duo's long-term musical relationship.

You can tell there's excitement by the exclamation point.

And you can tell by the voting. Stang and Elenteny's Science! received and overwhelming majority of votes cast during the Best of Olympia 2012 Readers' Poll in the "Best New Band" category. Though the duo says they have "maybe a dozen" shows under their belt, Olympia seems to have Science! on the brain.

The reasons are many. Most important, the finger-plucking beauty and ease of the duo's folksy, acoustic, storytelling is easy on the ear; Science! has a rootsy vibe that goes a long way in a town like Olympia. Plus, Stang's voice, which partners with Elenteny's guitar playing and skillful and varied musicianship on record, is naturally captivating, unique yet familiar and comforting. Stang sings like a man who's seen a lot of miles on the road, and indeed he has.

"Science! is a musical pursuit of empirical evidence, using poetry and soundscapes to express the truth of daily life," reads the band's bio.

Via phone, Stang and Elenteny have a more straightforward description of the band.

"We wanted something that was simple, that was universal, and that was truthful," says Stang of the Science! name and acoustic approach. "That's a lot of how we view our music.

"We wanted this to be an acoustic duo, just two acoustic guitars and two microphones, because I think that really represents, at its core element, what we are and what we do."

While Science! is undeniably a "new" band, there's a familiarity with Stang's work in Olympia thanks to his contribution to the well-known, nationally touring jam-rock outfit Sideways Reign, as well as a tireless solo touring schedule. Elenteny, for his part, plays bass in the also-well-known Seattle-based jam act Nefarious Jones.

Most beneficial to the duo's chemistry, Stang and Elenteny's connection goes back decades. Both musicians grew up together in Sayville, New York, with mere chance (or perhaps fate) bringing them together again years later and 3000 miles removed in Olympia.

"We both started when we were in high school playing together, kind of when we were both beginners," says Elenteny. "And we both came from the same place in music.

"So, when we got back together it was like no time had passed. We'd both done all of our different things, but we still had the same foundation."

Science! plans to release a self-titled EP in 2012 as well as play more local shows. Chances are you'll have an opportunity to see Stang and Elenteny in action over the coming year - a chance to see what all the excitement is about for yourself.

If the voting (or punctuation) is any indication, it's a chance you don't want to squander.

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