When an artist labels their music as ‘surf-western’, you know as a listener that you’re in for some high-concept sounding stuff. Toronto based five-piece Invasions have done exactly that with their new self-titled record – following up on the bizarre genre concoction with an unexciting sophomore record full of flaccid surf-rock built upon an intriguing formula.
And what’s it like?
Straddling the line between a more excitable and sleazy incarnation of The Beach Boys and the iconic western soundtracks of Ennio Morricone, Invasions strikes a unique sound that works better in concept than it does in execution. From the tropical warmth of opener ‘Cursed Comfort’, it seems for a while that the band are onto to something with their wavy interpretation of garage rock – unfortunately, their lack of range is immediately evident by the time the third track rolls around.
Failing to change up their sound or melodies in any significant way, their sandy fuzz quickly fades into mediocrity. Bringing to mind the backing music from a beach themed level of an old Playstation 1 platformer, their music offers some of the most offensively bad false nostalgia of the year. Their inability to capitalise on their winning formula is astounding, as each track grinds to the next with such little variation it can be hard to tell when one song starts and another begins.
What’s the tracklisting?
1. Cursed Comfort
4. Ballad of the Faithful
5. Born on a Wave
7. Alive (Loving Life)
Can you listen to anything now?
What’s the final verdict?
As the type of album the word ‘repetitive’ was made for, Invasions offers very little in the way of enjoyment. If their sound is appealing enough to you, you may be able to squeeze some life out of a couple of tracks, but when they all sound so samey it’s going to be pretty difficult to single out any one in particular.
Words by Joe Price