Invisible - The Invisible EP
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Invisible
The Invisible EP
(Self-Released)

Everyone these days is mixing organic instrumentation with electronic flourishes. As happens with every new technological phase, the sheer wonder of it all has pretty much worn off and we're all left with whether the songs are actually any good. Invisible is a batch of performers from the upper-northwest (where a huge amount of semi-instrumental art-rock seems to be pouring out of lately) location of Portland, and they take things one step further by incorporating visual backdrops (some of which are freaking cool and available for viewing on the band website) that are manipulated and performed alongside their music.

That latter doesn't mean a whole lot for an actual CD release (although the group is also planning an upcoming DVD), but fortunately the group creates strong enough music that it doesn't really matter if there's a video backdrop for it or not. While their music incorporates some electronic elements, it also has a firm foundation in good old indie rock. Probably one of the more interesting tracks of the entire release is the first one of "Calia," a track that lulls with sweeps of strings before blasting with blistering guitars, linking The Rachels with Rodan.

The group takes a much more straightforward route on indie-pop tracks like the laid-back "Shall The Content" and the untitled fifth track, blending quiet guitars and a nice touch of stringed instrumentation for pieces that sound like they could have come off the last Wilco disc. Elsewhere, they show a love for Chicago with the vibraphone-tinged Tortoise-esque "Verdict Swings." In 6 tracks and 30 minutes time, the group tries a lot of different things and while it works out much of the time it also feels like they're still in search of a more definitive sound. Given that the release was originally conceived with different members living in different locations, it makes sense that it would feel a smidge varied. Now that everyone is on the same page, though, I'm sure the group only has better work to look forward to.

rating: 6.7510
Aaron Coleman 2004-03-11 00:00:00