Travis is truly a band of mystery. Their first release, Good Feeling, pretty much sucked. But then they stunned the world with The Man Who. Now will they regress or progress? The Invisible Band may just have that answer.
“Sing” opens it up with what sounds like a banjo piggybacking behind a lovely melody sung sweetly by Fran Healy. The surprise is “Side”. It proves that Travis is no one trick pony. The hook is epic, but it could have been much more. I wish they would have left off the last sentence or two of the chorus and just let it be. The charging chorus is stunning, but it does lose its momentum. “Side” could have been one for the ages. Instead they march on unseen but not unheard into the perfectly dreary and instantly singable “Pipe Dreams”. Is anyone else hearing some Bob Denver in this? No harm done. Bob was a genius in his own dorky way. “Flowers In The Window” seems to be the cheery flipside to “Pipe Dreams” sadness.
Although Travis claimed The Invisible Band would be more cheerful, it seems the epic funk that Travis settled into couldn’t be completely escaped. “Dear Diary” meddles in the depths of darkness and self-doubt.
Although The Invisible Band trails off a bit after the first half dozen songs, it picks up at the end with perhaps the silliest song title ever, “The Humpty Dumpty Love Song”. As dumb as the title is and as silly the song seems to be, it ends up being quite a terrific love song.
Travis hasn’t outdone The Man Who, but this is heaps better than their debut. The Invisible Band can stand alone. Travis is certainly a band that has grown and will continue to do so.
+ charlie craine