Although Travis is one of my new favorite bands, for the benefit of those just discovering them, their debut has to be measured within the context of all their work.
The incredible unevenness of "Good Feeling" hits you with the first two songs. A solid opener with big, broad chords of worthy of an anthem --"All I Wanna Do is Rock"-- is followed by the simply embarrassing "U16 Girls", in which Travis invokes the tired subject from rock n' roll mythology of fantasizing about jailbait high schoolers. Complete with "nah-nah nah" choruses, it is truly not one of their finer moments. The middle of the album is strong, with "Good Day To Die", the title track, and "Midsummer Nights Dreamin" all being some of the bands best up tempo numbers. These are book ended by serviceable, if unspectacular tracks like "The Line is Fine" and "Happy", but the album is dragged down by the obvious filler of "Tied to the 90's" (complete with soccer chants).
The album's real saving grace are the four quiet numbers located towards the close of the album (who sequenced this anyway?). These songs show that perhaps, this type of music-- which they latched onto for two subsequent albums-- is really their forte. Whether it's the quiet beauty of "More Than Us" or the building closer "Funny Thing", these tracks, along with the better tracks mentioned above, are essential listening for fans of this band.
Put simply, those looking to explore Travis should start with "The Man Who" and then decide if you want (almost) more of the same on The Invisible Band, or check out the band developing their identity on this album. Hopefully, Travis will rediscover the best about their louder selves and find a way to give us both types of music-- thereby showcasing all of their strengths-- on their next record.