SXSW Live Shot: INVSN
Refused and (International) Noise Conspiracy spin-off crunches
By Michael Toland, 2:55PM, Thu. Mar. 13
As proud papa of Refused and the (International) Noise Conspiracy, Dennis Lyxzen invites high expectations with any new project. INVSN, the Swedish firebrand’s latest venture, comes after his laying low for a while, or at least keeping a lower profile outside of his home country, so anticipation from fans Wednesday night was double.
Or would’ve been, if the band’s secret origins were better known. Two attendees I talked to came to the show once they learned of INVSN’s lineage, but few seemed to know without word-of-mouth. No matter. Despite a modest crowd and onstage monitor problems, the co-ed sextet hit the stage with a vibrating rock & roll charge.
Combining the widescreen Eighties melodicism of Lyxzen’s side project Lost Patrol Band with the politically-charged rhetoric of the (I)NC, the group blasted through a half-dozen New Wave anthems as if channeling early U2 and New Order at the same time. Drawing from its self-titled (and first in English) third album, the band waved the flag for anti-societal resistance backed by big hooks and bigger choruses.
Good thing, too. From the dire warning of “A storm is coming for you” to the contemptuous put-down “They’re never gonna give you praise if you’re crawling on your knees,” Lyxzen pointed fingers with abandon. Luckily, the boyish passion of his voice and the self-deprecating humor in comments like, “We need to be pale and miserable to create this kind of music” kept his pronouncements from being a drag. Besides, those candy-coated choruses helped the medicine go down easy.