History Invades – In Vision Vanish Invisible
Record Label: Pish Posh of North America
Release Date: May 15, 2007
Civilization is ending, about to be overtaken by domineering automatons from the future. With our last gasping breath, in the wake of our own robotic destruction, the human race is throwing a worldwide dance party. And this is our soundtrack.
In Vision Vanish Invisible, the latest offering from electronic/dance/rock/prog/too-many-descriptors-to-mention outfit History Invades, grants a glimpse into the twisted, fading brain of a musical supercomputer. Less a band and more of a collaborative effort that is guided and conducted by songwriter and vocalist Paul Albert Harper, History Invades push the envelope, forcing the listener to reevaluate current conceptions of artful music. The complexity of their uber-hip electronic sound rivals that of their elaborate song titles, but tracks like “The Romance of Sand and the Salts/Snakes and the Consequential Epilepsy” and “Of Transparency in Disposition; The Fear of Dilution Upon Reflective Eyes” don’t come off as cumbersome as their names would imply. For the most part, the tunes ebb and flow with dexterous sophistication although several points on the album do get a bit self-indulgent (in the same vein as portions of Portugal. the Man’s or The Mars Volta’s libraries).
There is an appreciable depth to this album that leaves Harper calling out like a drowning victim. The effect is incredibly emotive but it also masks one of the band’s best features: Harper’s voice. The range of feeling generated by his cries, whispers, and yelps is brilliant, but at times it gets buried under the sonic swell. When it appears, it comes in little teasers that connect the dots between electronic beats and breakdowns.
The album’s first track, “Post Modernist Trap: The Stalkers Guide to the Universe,” whirs to a start and leaps into a swift bass-beat that could easily lay a background for a dark and sweaty dance club. But this isn’t just a mindless techno record. Harper changes pace with the reflective, half whispered, half shouted “Check That Figure! With Digits Like That, Who Needs Cell Phones?” He then switches gears again with the swaggering confidence of “Let’s Make like Knives and Cut Loose!” which is sure to get all the radicals’ hearts pumping when he sneers “There must be something that you’re trying to sell.” One of album’s most successful tunes comes in the psychedelic robotics of the ‘secret song’ (the last seven minutes of “Skies of the Times, Colonnades of the Modem: A Vanishing Synapses”). The track hums and oscillates behind a skeletal framework of thin guitar, a vast electronic valediction to a circuit-board landscape.
It’s the end of the world and if we’re going down, we’re not going down without a party. Spin In Vision Vanish Invisible and dance to the beat of the apocalypse.
Rocks like: The Faint doing battle with Dntel while The Gorillaz and mewithoutYou watch from afar.