Invisible Inc. Poor Folks Welcome

"Welcome to the Show" kicks out of the gates with a hit of something that lifts you up. The catchy chorus, "mi casa su casa," invites you in to get out of the cold and shed your overcoat. Sunny harmonies abound from that point forward, reminiscent in one way or another of countless lodestones in modern rock. That may be the problem, as Thomas Jefferson said, "the secret to freedom is eternal vigilance." Invisible Inc. will need to be eternally vigilant in the same way that the Flashing Lights must constantly be on guard about staying current and not "in the vein of" this or that. Somehow, I buy it from the Flashing Lights, but not from Invisible Inc. You see, this band got their start playing "classic rock hits" in various bars in the Toronto area. Apparently, from their press release, they would dive into nearly letter perfect versions of whatever song their soused audience insisted upon. It's one thing to write a great album and another to freakishly mimic the greats. I find myself reflecting on this point over and over again while listening to this album. The aforementioned lead cut is the bastard child of Buffalo Springfield and Trooper. The next cut, "Sun Today," is Animals meets Yardbirds, and so on. The last track, "Turnout," has a hint of the pop brilliance that is Sloan, but comes too little too late. This band is probably a great band to see live and with some lyrics and compositions of any substance they would probably tear it up on record as well. Alas, we are left with songs like "Building An Amplifier," "soldering iron, needle-nose pliers, oscillators and capacitators... smell the roses fill your noses... on the green with Lee Trevino, do what's right for you." Which in the case of Invisible Inc., means launching right on cue into a Neil Young-esque harmonica solo. (Independent)