"Anti Everything" (Self-produced; 2003)

Reviewed by Alicia Downs

Dallas is clearly the rock Mecca of the nation. Not a weekend goes by where there is not a buffet of original rock music penetrating the scene. Young bands, old bands and has-been bands alike are all over Deep Ellum. Some are original and (dare I say it?) decent and others plain suck.

It was with the love it or hate it mentality that I first went to check out Invain. The only reason that I went was because the band was not from Dallas. Rather they represent the growing influence of New Orleans ("N'awlins" for those indigenous) rock. Rather than straight edge riffs and aggressive "Dallas-style" playing, the NOLA sound represents a palette of musical influences from "twang" to soulful guitars.

The first Invain set I saw in Dallas was this past April. I'll concede they made an instant impression. It was with this impression that I made it not only a point to see them when they rolled around for Dallas haunt "The Underworld's Filth of July" bash, but to also check out in detail a copy of their recently recorded demo.

And here's the lowdown on Invain…

Live they are nothing short of in your face modern metal. Front man Jacob actually bothers to acknowledge a crowd standing in front of him like a true professional. The melodies are not without acknowledgement either as each musician gets off to their own soulful concoctions. Upon seeing this last performance, I noted that they were the only band of the night to not only attract the attention of the local lushes, but to actually get quite a few off the bar stools and into the front to bang their heads accordingly (the hangover next morning must have been brutal).

Not getting enough from the live show, I inquired further and obtained this four song demo. There is not much information contained in the demo, so it is one of those things in which you have to go with what you hear. From what I understand, the demo was recorded in Denton, Texas with the overseeing hand of C.J. Pierce (guitar player for Drowning Pool). Without playing the "name game," I casually mention that C.J. Pierce happens to be the brother of Invain front man Jacob. But this isn't another band riding on coattails; instead, Invain is indignant that such a correlation isn't the focus of their live show or their  music in general. But it is not undeniable that the signature "Pierce" guitar sound hints throughout the work. The whole "guitar pedal is my best friend" sound that Pierce made his own drips through the average bass and drum tracks. 

With that, the demo is quite subdued in comparison to their live set. Sonically, things are far less in your face. Vocally, it seems like Jacob is holding back. He can do more and, live, he does. Just the same, the demo is a clear representation of the potential that this band has, as it well should be. 

The four track sample includes "Everything for You" and the favorite offering "Star." In "Star," Jacob croons that "one day he'll be a star" and there is no doubt in the legitimacy of such a claim.

Invain is nothing short of a rock transfusion and a reason to support the live, local, and original music scene.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Revised: 01 Apr 2024 12:16:14 -0500 .