Let us start with the closing line of the review. The Edge Of Virtue EP from UK band Invoke is brilliant and you must go and get it and then bask in its glory.
The three track release really is something rather special, a refreshing and vibrant piece of songwriting, musical craft, and sound. Unaware of the band until now and having missed their previous two singles when they were unveiled which surely many others did too, the time is now to leap upon their exciting and inspiring sounds and feel the magic of what surely will become one of the more important indie bands over the months maybe years ahead.
Formed in October 2010 the trio from Gateshead have been drawing increasing attention their way and now having heard the EP it is no surprise and that focus upon them is sure to increase over the time ahead. Consisting of Aidan Beck (vocals/guitar/ keys), Derrian Everett (bass/backing vocals/keys), and Wil Davies (drums/percussion), Invoke follow up their debut single Second Time Lucky and its successor Nothing’s Changed released January of this year and featuring on the EP, with an EP that easily sets them apart from a growing wave of new and exciting emerging bands.
What do Invoke do that makes them different? Well there is their definite skill at creating melodic and infectious music that also has a depth and feel which captures and inspires emotions and thoughts. Aligned with an invigorating enthusiasm to their sound and an energy that treats one like a long time friend and boisterous companion, the combination makes for songs that have immediacy and an eager infectious heart that captivates and seduces those of all who open the windows to their souls. Their sound has been compared to that of Muse, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, The Police and even Depeche Mode and one can see that somewhat but there are three eighties founded bands which ripple out from within the music of the band. Firstly there is the emotive and caressing sounds of Modern English that weave within Invoke and which are readily backed by the expert minimal craft and addiction melodic prowess of Comsat Angels. Thirdly there is the incisive and infectious hooks and melodic grip of The Cure from their first album time, Edge Of Virtue easily carrying the insatiable yet perfectly tailored mesmeric simplicity that formed the first release of the legends to be. I am sure this young band have only heard of the latter but whether coincidence or not the trio of flavours are perfect spicery to their sounds.
From the moment the brief addictive intro of the EP took to the ear submission was inevitable. It has a hook that acts like one of those excellent themes tunes to say The Avengers or The Persuaders, unforgettable and very addictive. This leads straight into Misfortune, the song continuing the captivation. With a great bass presence that almost croons the ear behind the incisive and sparkling guitar melodies; the song is instantaneous and delightful. The drums of Davies are pithy and persistently jabbing at the senses without laying out the surrounding graceful and appealing sounds. The song is perfectly constructed and with an ending that sets the pulse racing it is a glorious start.
The aforementioned previous single comes next. Nothing’s Changed sounds like another band from the past The Tea Set, with its picky hooks and instinctive rhythms before it emerges as a wonderfully emotive and easy flowing piece of songwriting, warm keys, invigorating rhythms and sharp yet restrained guitar play making the perfect mix.
It is impossible to pick a best song the release that impressive and consistent, but Restart with its razor sharp red hot melodies and insistent bass lines is as big a contender as the rest. The song is The Cure like, listen to the first album of that trio and see if you disagree, but always note that Invoke turn all these flavours intentionally or by luck into distinct and irresistible creativity of their very own. The song is mischievous but innocent and a joy to share time and the heart with.
Edge Of Virtue is sheer inspirational pleasure and already the anticipation of more from the band is impatient and irritable. If you only check out one band this month make it Invoke, they really are that good. Now you need simply go to www.invoke.bandcamp.com and go treat yourselves. Go on…shoo!