Don’t let the title of the record fool you. There’s not much resembling Steely Dan on Invisible Hand’s latest EP, Aja, but this Charlottesville, Virginia, band led by Adam Smith (yes, for the nerds: a dude named Adam Smith fronts a band called Invisible Hand) aren’t completely devoid of influences that hold a place in the canon of rock and roll. On the lead track, “Eating Out”, Smith draws from Joy Division’s signature bass/drum thumps and throws in some crooning that would make Morrissey blush.
Things then go garage in “Psychic Cat” and “Call Me Ishmael”, but only for a moment. Smith is too keen to go full boar with garage sounds and things inevitably turn psychedelic at various junctures. “Home at Last”, another high point on the release, is a radio friendly tune complete with synths and other smooth sounds. If what’s included on Aja is a sign of things to come, expect the guys in Invisible Hand to be producing some infectious pop for wide audiences very soon.