Invasion and The Weapons of Mass Communication


Written by Deedee Ramone
19 Wednesday 19th December 2007

War certainly has changed for us here in the West. While our government and armies fight the good fight on foreign shores, a world away in London, podgy citizens mill about the streets aimlessly - families out Christmas shopping and enjoying the sights and sounds of the city. The mindless preoccupations of a generation free from war and oppression… during wartime.

But there is one form of warfare that is being waged as ferociously as ever – the propaganda war. Headlines and stories that would make Goebbels proud glare at us from the front pages of our broadsheets and plastic automatons regurgitate Western lies to us on our televisions. To get a better idea of the history of this fine tradition of national brainwashing we decided to take Psych-rock revivalists Invasion to the Weapons of Mass Communication exhibition.

Rocket to Russia this ain't...

The band are waiting for us on the high street, sipping beers amid the daytime rush. We exchange greetings and head to the Imperial War Museum. There is some real artistic talent evident in the posters displayed. I hate to say it but some of the Nazi expressionist stuff is amazing. We really like the Heinrich Richter work, except the whole ‘killing the English’ vibe it has about it.

We check out a painting with the text ‘It takes a MAN to stick it in the Navy’. Next to it is a picture of a woman flexing a bicep. “I wish I was a man so I could join the Navy,” says a speech bubble above her head. Men proudly march on board a vessel heading Europe-ward in the background. Dulce et decorum est. I wonder if Wilfred Owen was maybe among them.

Invasion have been threatening to blow for a minute, now we're pretty sure the band are set to e.x.p.l.o.d.e

“War gives artists something real to rebel against,” muses Merek (guitar). “During the 90’s a lot of music lost its edge. There was nothing real to talk about and a descent into self-indulgence and songs about haircuts was inevitable.” Thinking back over my CD collection from back then, I am inclined to agree.

We come across a British painting that inspires us. It’s of a giant octopus… thing, with tentacles and flying lazers. “This is the sort of thing I’m more into,” Merek explains. “It’s space-age in a retro way. I’m a big fan of space and fantasy imagery. It’s what I wanted to represent with the band's image in general”.

Stop Nuclear Suicide
FHK Henrion (1914-1990)
(for CND)
UK, c1965, offset lithograph

The Invasion kids are really into the psychedelic scene - old time bands like Black Sabbath and new hopefuls like Diagonal from Brighton; big riffs and abstract arrangements. When I meet them they are opening for Chrome Hoof that night. The band are clearly in love with their sound - psychedelic influences and Stone Age thrash with heavy metal stylings. With the psych movement picking up once again in the States it can only get bigger on our shores, taking Invasion with it.

“People are starting to use Sabbath riffs again and even hardcore is getting decent. I hadn’t heard any good hardcore bands for about ten years but we are starting to get some good, heavy bands about in the UK again… without being too heavy." As long as they keep on doing what they love and doing it so well, the future looks bright for Invasion. Fight on lads, fight on.

Your Talk May Kill Your Comrades
Abram Games (1914-1996)
UK, 1942, lithograph

You can check Invasion at one of the many gigs they are playing around the UK over the coming months and there is a FREE download available here.

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