INVSN The Beautiful Stories

INVSN The Beautiful Stories
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INVSN is led by Dennis Lyxzén of Refused and Sara Almgren, his bandmate from the (International) Noise Conspiracy, and also includes Christina Karlsson of Tiger Forest Cat, Anders Stenberg of Lykke Li's band and Deportees and André Sandström of DS-13.
 
Where INVSN's self-titled, English-language debut featured mostly melodic singing led by Lyxzén, sophomore LP The Beautiful Stories divides the duties up more evenly between him and Almgren but also finds Lyxzén sliding into a more aggressive, shout-y style (which offsets Almgren's singing nicely). This modern blend of post-hardcore and post-punk has been captured well by Ceremony and Savages, but INVSN still have their own distinct take on it, with more electronic drum sounds and synths.
 
Some of the lyrics might be a bit too plain and earnest sounding for some fans of darker, heavier music. "Immer Zu" repeats its titular phrase far too many times (although it does sink into your mind in a way some might find catchy), and while "The Distance" shows a nice romantic side, it veers into corny territory with lines like "Watch the roses wither away," and later, "Shadows are everything you seek / when only love is real." The album ends with a pretty bland take: "Love's Like a Drug."
 
On the other hand, "I Dreamt Music" seems to be a brutal take on disillusionment with music: "I know I've felt it all before / I know I'm not connected to this anymore." On "This Constant War," the self-loathing of lyrics like "I've been a liar to others / mostly myself" is counter-balanced by the forward-looking refrain "I'm alive / on fire / another day." While INVSN probably won't shock anyone sonically or lyrically, there is still definitely a spark of creativity and honest expression here. (Dine Alone)