There are no photos of History Invades on the inside sleeve of their second album, In Vision Vanish Invisible. The song titles are absurdly long and in a font that’s difficult on the eyes, particularly given the yellow background. And while the credits list about eleven different people, they neglect to mention who plays what, though one person on the album goes by the name “Noah Guitar Prado.” No, there isn’t much readily available information about History Invades, which could only mean that they’re assassins sent from the future, right?
Given the synthpunk outfit’s mega-distorted, futuristic apocalypse jams, it would appear so. The war between the humans and the androids has begun, and History Invades is the Kyle Reese, if you will, the one(s) sent to the past (being the present) to protect earth from the impending destruction. Really, that’s just a hypothesis, one that sort of falls apart once the music is in play, as History Invades appear to be the ones causing most of the destruction. Wires cross, laser beams fire, flames shoot from the ground, buildings crumble, and hips sway in sexy fashion, swaying and shimmying while the earth disintegrates piece by piece. It’s not elegant and poetic dissolution, it’s demolition with style and finesse.
It’s easy to picture both the lascivious and the looming on In Vision Vanish Invisible, as synths and guitars bob and weave in a neon-lit gauntlet over the hottest of disco beats in “Post-Modernist Trap: The Stalker’s Guide to the Universe.” “Intensity in Ten Cities” is Blade Runner house music, pulsing and grinding with distorted hooks to keep the replicant party moving. Not just a clever name, “Check That Figure! With Digits Like These Who Needs Cell Phones?” reveals (potentially) the human side of the band, coming off more like a Modest Mouse track than evil LCD Soundsystem. “Let’s Make Like Knives and Cut Loose!” has a dingy ethereality, a sort of graceful carcinogen that intoxicates as it dazzles. And in a really confusing and disturbing way, “Of Transparency in Disposition: The Fear of Dilution Upon Reflective Eye” is just too catchy for words.
So maybe History Invades is just a group of dudes from the Bay Area, with Paul Albert Harper masterminding their electronic assault. Or maybe that’s just what they want us to think. Either way, if someday the androids revolt, I hope History Invades is on our side.
Jeff Terich is the founder and editor of Treble. He's been writing about music for 20 years and has been published at American Songwriter, Bandcamp Daily, Reverb, Spin, Stereogum, uDiscoverMusic, VinylMePlease and some others that he's forgetting right now. He's still not tired of it.