Ever since the late 1980s, Swedish punk icon Dennis Lyxzén has been making powerful protest music through various bands, most notably hardcore innovators Refused, rock n roll revivalists The (International) Noise Conspiracy and the thrashy AC4. One of his lesser known projects, and yet still political, is post-punk outfit INVSN (formerly known as Invasionen) who continue their antiestablishmentarianism with their self-titled current moniker debut.
'#61' kicks off this album excellently being a great dark synth number; dreamily slow with delayed guitars and underlying industrial electronics. Lyxzén's vocals fuse well with those of bassist/vocalist Sara Almgren, the difference in gender helping each voice to strengthen the other. Following track 'Down In The Shadows' is a different beast with blasts of electronic noise at the start before going into a low and driving, but subtle, riff. Lyxzén harmoniously sings, 'They're never gonna give you praise, when you're on your knees' and 'Who do you think you serve? Not your own life' approaching themes of self liberation.
The chorus of 'God Has Left Us Stranded' has some thought provoking lyrics, which state that humanity can't be certain of a higher power watching over us, and therefore how the world is is down to us. This is reinforced with, 'We only got ourselves to blame, we only got ourselves to save'. The song is strengthened by the dirty bassline juxtaposing the light guitar notes in good old post-punk fashion. 'Västerbotten' has the most heart-wrenching verses of all: 'We born to end up here' refers to the picket fences they've been on most of their lives, connoting that they feel their political struggle will never end. 'Our Blood' is built on a clearer bassline with icy tremolo-picked guitars that drift in and out creating a ghostly atmosphere - that is until Lyxzén starts screeching 'OUR BLOOD!' repeatedly, which defiantly catches you off guard.
Continue reading: INVSN - INVSN Album Review
The first names for SXSW have been released.
The South by Southwest Music Festival has released its first list of artists for the 2014 festival, notably the New Orleans rapper Vockah Redu, indie-trio London Grammar, Drenge, the Texas country singer Rodney Crowell and Swedish rock band INVSN.
The first batch comprises of 183 acts from 27 countries that will play in downtown Austin in the spring. Last year, more than 25,000 people saw 2,278 acts at the six-day festival and music conference.
INVSN is perhaps the most interesting act from the first announcement. Featuring Refused and International Noise Conspiracy frontman Dennis Lyxzen, the band are currently on a U.S tour promoting their self-titled debut album.
Continue reading: SXSW Announces First Performers For 2014 Festival