Best of SXSW 2014: INVSN
Dennis Lyxzen is a true rock n’ roll frontman. The kind that commands an audience so intensely you just can’t turn your eyes away. The kind that girls want to bone and guys want to be. It’s undeniable. Mick Jagger, Iggy Pop, David Bowie, Axl Rose, Scott Weiland… I’ll stop short of saying Lyxzen is on the level of those vaunted frontmen, but only because he hasn’t achieved the success yet. He’s definitely made of the same stuff.
Watching INVSN at The Scoot Inn on the afternoon of Wednesday, March 12th, it all made sense to me why Lyxzen doesn’t want to do Refused anymore, or at least why he insisted on such a long break until the money got too ridiculous to turn down: his heart is elsewhere now. INVSN sound nothing like Refused, and though the two bands will always by inextricably linked because of Lyxzen’s participation in both the comparison is entirely unfair. Taken on their own merit INVSN are a great live band, and no one in their right mind who didn’t know the history would compare them to Refused. Admittedly I haven’t been following INVSN’s career and I don’t really know what their level of success is, but my sense of the INVSN show I attended (and, by extension, other INVSN shows I didn’t attend) is that the audience is comprised in large part of curious Refused fans. Like me.
So, judging INVSN on their own merit: they were great. Like I said, I couldn’t turn away; I felt myself becoming more and more drawn in as the set progressed. The songs are infectious and uplifting, and the live show got more intense as it went on. This may seem like an odd comparison to some, but INVSN really remind me of ’90s two-hit wonders Sponge, both in terms of their arena rock-meets-alternative songwriting approach and Lyxzen’s stringy, commanding Vinnie Dombroski-like stage presence. A really good live band all around.
Here’s a clip of them performing “The Promise” during SXSW, although not the show I attended: