2.5 Stars

The Invisible’s second full-length offering, Invisibility, is comprised of 12 songs that display an array of influence. From stoned-out psychedelic rockers to down-tempo acoustic songs and instrumental hip-hop jams, the tracks here follow a quality as varied as their influences. On opener “The Art of Deception,” lead singer Kris Bauer sings in a slurred whisper that changes within the music, verse to chorus, from belligerent to weepy angst-ridden falsetto in the vein of This Heat or other pro-typical 1980s post rock outfits. The song is catchy in both its musical derivativeness as well as in its lo-fi production that accentuates the organic interplay of the band members.

Some of the comparable “rocking” songs, however, are not as infectious; “Drama Queen,” for instance, rides a regurgitated surf-rock guitar line that swells up in a sickeningly atrocious punched out chorus of “drama queen!” Perhaps this outlines the overlying problem with a majority of the songs that at the end of listening seem weak or inconsistent: a combination of derivative musical tactics with inferior lyrical sentimentality or emotional value. The better material on this record focuses on a collective sound that is founded upon 1960s psychedelic rock music, garage rock, grunge and revivalist folk in the vein of Beck and The Beat Happening.

On “If I Fall In Love,” a near perfect acoustic ballad, Bauer sings in a baritone over a seemingly simple acoustic and drum line, with a melody that is both romantically centered around rhythm and blues and adjacently unfamiliar with its raspy lead vocals, reminiscent of Beck’s “One Foot in the Grave.”

The simple acoustic guitar, drums and bass setup is routinely used on Invisibility. For the most part, the setup is effective, as heard on tracks like “Bigger Picture,” which sounds flat-out down home country, and “Hell to Pay,” where Bauer’s voice ascends to the ethereal in a song that matches the sublime rock offered by acoustic Alice in Chains and early Primus.

Overall, the album’s strengths are outlined on the songs that sound most organic, where the overall sonic power of the guitars and drums coincide with the lead vocalists singing; its flaws lie in overbearing cliched lyrics that fall just short of sentimentality.

Invisibility is currently available exclusively through CDBaby. More information about The Invisible and Invisibility can be found on their Web site: www.theinvisible.biz.

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