There’s a lot to admire in Grounds For Invasion‘s self-titled EP. There’s nothing here that really commands your attention in any aggressive way. The songs seep into the brain softly before unloading their dense sonic assault into the mix, wrapped in very accomplished melodies. The EP rolls along, never exceeding a gentle pace, which makes its accessibility all the more impressive.
Opener Boiling Point is typical of the entire EP. Electronic drum samples lead the mid-paced charge, with gentle vocals creating an understated power that is hypnotic. The powerful conclusion will have fans of Nine Inch Nails nodding in approval while the clever vocal melody means that the song is never sacrificed in the onslaught of electronica.
Dance Alone is equally strong in its quiet authority. More often than not this kind of electronic pop can fall victim to too much digital trickery in place of actual songwriting but thankfully that is not the case here. Crossing Lines is easily the most radio friendly track here. Coming across like Gary Newman at his most optimistic, it has a strong, almost catchy melody that shows a band capable of branching out to other musical landscapes.
It’s not all perfect. As the EP progresses it’s hard not to yearn for some sort of shift in pace and even dynamics. The formula for the most part can become predictable as some of the songs seem to freewheel into the inevitable loud conclusion. Oxytocin is an example of this. In no way is it a bad song but it sticks so rigidly to the formula layed down on the opening of the EP that it makes one wonder if Grounds For Invasion’s one gear is beginning to come restrictive.
Closer True Romance is the only true misstep here, a soliloquy on love which is a regretful mix of sheer pretension and laughable cliché – a disappointing end to an impressive offering.
That said, even in when it falters it is with the consolation that it has done so in the pursuit of some sort of musical experimentation. Grounds For Invasion have a bit to go to really make a dent on the consciousness of the Irish music audience. There are flashes of inspiration here that show they are on the right path to change that. This feels like the beginning of the journey rather than the announcement of their arrival. That’s not to say that what’s here is not strong, but rather that further expansion on their sound will undoubtedly unlock the evident potential on display.