It began in early April 2009, when the band locked out a small rehearsal space under a bridge on the edge of the Willamette River to craft the new material as a band for the first time. The goal was to create a dense and fast-moving instrumental work. If the previous ""Signs of Life"" had been slow-building grandeur and reflective beauty, ""Invisible Origins"" would be its mirror image. The frenetic and intense pace of those rehearsal sessions flowed directly into the Klickitat recording sessions, engineered by Jeremy Sherrer. Over eight days the band recorded two albums' worth of material onto 16-track analog tape.
As usual, Harris' disciplined rhythmic guitar work provides the substrate for the band to work from. This time around he is aided by the power and precision of Ardziejewski's drumming and the sinister undercurrents of Murray's bass guitar. Beaten by Them departs from the usual rock band formula in using largely acoustic instruments to delineate melodies. McCormick ditches his guitar to play piano and vibraphone on many of the tracks. Boima Tucker's cello imbues the music with much of its emotional depth.
The resulting record is a marvelous, esoteric vision, built on impressionistic arrangements, melancholy strings and ambient textures. As with all of Beaten by Them's work, Invisible Origins has a wide-screen, cinematic quality. Its music enters your mind and twists your thoughts long after the music has finished – almost like a David Lynch movie. If you like your music to challenge you, this is it.