Review Summary: tapping doesn't make it any less average
Invalids is a Postal Service-style collaboration between guitarist/vocalist Pete Davis and bassist Nick Shaw. The two began working together back in 2009 via an internet forum for musicians. They have never met in real life.
The band’s sound is highly influenced by Maps and Atlases. Like other “math rock” bands, they make use of complex riffs and unconventional time signatures. This aspect of their style dominates the album, which ends up being really more of a showcase for Davis’ guitar tapping than anything else. Unfortunately, this technique can result in a jumbled mess of sound when it is not kept under control, and it is relied on far too heavily, taking away from the already unfocused and uninspired songwriting. The nearly constant stream of up-tempo, major key riffs is broken up with only a few slower, rhythmically and melodically coherent interludes that are highlights of the album.
What Eunoia suffers from most is a lack of differentiation in vocal melodies and cadence. Throughout most of the album, the vocals (which could easily be replaced with those of any pop punk band without notice) serve as more of a backing to the at times grating bombardment of erratic tapping. This may stem from the lack of a proper drummer in the band -- although the programmed drums sound fine, having a guitarist (especially one enamored with his own riffs) control the tempo was probably not the best thing that could have happened to the songwriting.
There is nothing particularly offensive or un-listenable about Eunoia (the decidedly bad yells thankfully appear only infrequently.) The nearly hour long run-time is a bit trying given the lack of variation between songs, but overall this is a solid, if unmemorable record held back by mediocre songwriting and plagued by a lack of focus.