Angering parents everywhere and getting his apparel and related merchandise banned from school, in the early ‘90s Bart Simpson proudly proclaimed that he was “an underachiever and proud of it.” When it comes to the band Canadian Invasion, musically the group overachieves with gorgeous Britpop-inspired melodies from The Doves and Oasis, old-fashioned Velvet Underground-like harmonies, the alt-country sound of Wilco, along with hooks that recall The Shins and Snow Patrol.
However, lyrically and in contradiction to the deceptively beautiful vocalization of lead singer Andy Canadian, the band seems to aim directly for the underachieving suburban Bart Simpsons in all of us. As though leveling a tuneful joust, the very American band — right out of Philadelphia (yes, Fresh Prince of Bel Air’s hometown, not Quebec or Montreal as one would assume) — does grant that the name is a bit silly. Andy Canadian proudly insists it was theirs “even before the South Park movie," and nonetheless it’s since “really encapsulated what the band is about” as he explained in the press release.
Dishing up eleven tracks intended as “a satirical assault on American ‘values’,” Canadian continues by explaining that the group refers to themselves as “America’s last line of defense against the evil Canadian socialist empire’s pernicious ideology of cheap health care and gun control.” This concept seems to be the focal point of their upcoming February 17 release from the Transit of Venus label, Three Cheers For the Invisible Hand, as Canadian, along with bassist Jim Foley, drummer George Groves, lead guitarist Eric Miller, and guitarist and backing vocalist Chris Morita relish in the delightful absurdity of American suburbia and hum-drum lives.
Songs about time-suckage and endless drinking kick off the album in the spirited tongue-in-cheek opener ”Pop Magic Fantastical Masterpiece,” as they open with a sound that recalls The Lemonheads’ “Into Your Arms,” before the lyrics move away from that radio favorite to Invasion’s choice of “I raise my empty glass and waste a bit more time.”
Pouring out intricately laced character studies of people who fall asleep in tanning beds and a best friend who “lost her heart to a dinosaur who wakes up every morning on the kitchen floor,” the group elates in lulling us into submission with sweet sounding melodies that only upon a second or third close listen do we realize seem far more sinister than we'd assumed.
After only a few tracks passively digested in the car, the mischievous group seemed like the type of band you’d hire for a rich kid’s birthday party… until you get wind of what they’re actually saying, that is, as their primary goal is articulating the emptiness of suburban life as Canadian feels that they’re essentially “a non-place, negatively defined as not-the-city and not-the country.”