The Invisible World – Color / Echo
This isn’t paint by numbers alt rock peddled long past the genre’s sell by date. Readers of a certain age will remember well those bygone days in the early 1990’s when bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and The Smashing Pumpkins burst on the scene and swept away the bloated hair metal balladeers and pseudo-rockers who dominated the airwaves and charts for much of the 1980’s, particularly the latter half of the decade. The Invisible World aren’t a tribute act to that distant time. Instead, this four piece from the Kansas City, Missouri area brings together guitar pyrotechnics, attentive songwriting, greater artistic ambitions, and a sturdy ear for evocative melodies into a well rounded package. They dispatch the six tunes on their latest EP, Color / Echo, without hesitancy and maximum conviction.
Lead singer Jesse Collins makes an impressive mark on listeners from the outset. His vocal on the title track and EP opener dramatizes the relatively weighty theme with gusto and surprising theatricality. His voice has a certain measure of sweetness, but there’s gravel and dirt on his vocal chords that helps give the song an additional veneer of credibility. The acoustic ending to the opening song makes for a fitting segue into the much more relaxed, straight forward style employed on “Bellamy”. Collins’ acoustic guitar lays down a steady rhythm track that electric guitarists Bryce Veazey and Ara Woodall are able to burn over with their slashing, chord-heavy style. The rhythm section of Brandon Woodall and Jon Gibbens prove their dexterity on this song by adapting to its uptempo pace just as easily as the more deliberate tempo employed on the first song. The EP’s third track, “The Way”, recalls the opener in its insistent on occupying a bigger portion of the stage than comparatively minor efforts like “Bellamy”. While their more light hearted fare is certainly worthy of attention, The Invisible World truly shines on songs like this because listeners can feel the fullest realization of their musical and lyrical vision.
“Brick by Brick” takes the band completely into acoustic territory. Collins is center stage for this one and his eloquent fusion of immediacy and technique creates magic late on the EP. The lyrical content is deceptively simple – what seems sing-songy and clearly draws its reference points from children’s nursery rhymes soon reveals itself to be much deeper than a first listen might reveal. The EP’s final song, “Oughta Know”, brings the biting pop tempo of “Bellamy” to serve equally brisk lyrical material. It reaches beyond the earlier song for the sense of gravitiy heard in songs like “The Way” and the title track, but the band keeps things relatively light hearted with the musical tone.
This is a powerhouse unit that has already enjoyed some recognition and this release is sure to garner more. Few bands can lay claim to being the complete package, but The Invisible World can. They are carrying on the torch for alternative rock long after the term first appeared and doing so with talent and passion that will only carry them higher.
9 out of 10 stars.