INCUBUS

"Monuments and Melodies" (Epic; 2009)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

 

This is a greatest hits/previously unreleased double disc from the Incubus camp. The first disc has songs from "Make Yourself," "Morning View," "A Crow Left Of The Murder…" and "Light Grenades." All these cuts have been previously released so, if you have those discs already, then you have all the songs they pressed.

Disc two is mainly unreleased tracks and rare demo cuts that have been polished to fill this double stuffed musical offering. All totaled, both discs add up to an hour and eight minutes so if you want to induce on an Incubus binge, this is your CD.

They cover Prince's "Let's Go Crazy" and it sounds really good. Most of the unreleased cuts are pretty good and, if you need some new Incubus to tide you over (since it's been three years since "Light Grenades" was released) you should pick this up for Disc 2 alone.

For more information, check out http://www.enjoyincubus.com.


"Light Grenades" (Epic / Immortal; 2006)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

 

I feel the best way to enjoy any Incubus record is not to immerse yourself in their entire disc all at once, meaning: don’t shuffle them on your MP3 player. Since Incubus takes a fair amount of time between each project, you can still pick up where you left off, the only problem is that they never let up. They are excellent songwriters and Brandon Boyd’s smooth vocal delivery allows the band to expand in many different musical directions.

To get ready for this listening experience, I did the thirty second track taste from “A Crow Left Of The Murder” so I wouldn’t accidentally compare their current project. Because they were creatively at the top of the mountain with their 2004 release, I hoped for the same, if not more.

There seems to be a laid back approach to some songs and, after the first listen, you might think they’ve gone soft -- but don’t compare this disc to previous ones. True, this isn’t as heavy as what we are all used to, but the sound is still there, it's just more matured. They crash the walls down just when you think a song lacks substance so their staple sound is still there. There are some acoustic tracks, too, and -- even though you might think they’re misplaced -- it's all part of the song fabric that Incubus weaves.

I found this album to a little more trippy than I remember Incubus sounding. It’s still a great listen, and since I’m a fan of every direction that they go, I really don’t criticize them for reaching out to fans that may have shooed them away for their previous stomp fest.

"Light Grenades" does seem to be missing the pop hits that made Incubus a requested favorite. “Diamonds And Coal” will suffice those who need a good pop song to keep them sticking around.

For more information, check out http://www.enjoyincubus.com.

"A Crow Left of the Murder" (Epic; 2004)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

 

After legal entanglements and the departure of a founding member, Incubus get back on track with "A Crow Left of the Murder," a 14-track collection that showcases the band at its creative nexus.

"A Crow Left of the Murder" reprises the art of the jam found on the California clan's previous releases while still maintaining the enriched songwriting that made them the one-time darlings of the rock world. Standout tracks such as "Pistola" and "Sick Sad Little World" succinctly tie all of the band's ends together to make the kind of mighty musical statement that puts Incubus in the same category as Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Nirvana. 

While the newly acquired Ben Kenney holds the rhythms down with walloping grace (especially in the funkified hard rock of "Priceless"), the rest of the crew (especially Mike Einziger, whose stunning fretwork screams of guitar hero-dom) branches out into experimental territories that run from the free-form, Pearl Jam-esque quirk of "Zee Deveel" to the laid back groove of "Agoraphobia" and the dynamic challenge of "Beware! Criminal."

Of course, the focus of most female's affections - vocalist Mr. Brandon Boyd - throws everything he's got into this mix, giving off thought-provoking lyrical content backed by the most soulful delivery found in rock today, especially on the album's opening scorcher, "Megalomaniac" and the seething closer "Leech."

It's safe to say that Incubus have found their niche, and some may even say this is the band's finest work to date. "A Crow Left of the Murder" finds the band comfortably at the height of their popularity, that insatiable creative drive that brought them to the forefront has reappeared in wondrous forms, all the while maintaining the big hooks and stellar riffs that all rock fans crave. 

One of the year's best thus far, and definitely a milestone release for Incubus. 

For more information, check out http://www.enjoyincubus.com.

"Morning View" (Sony; 2001)

Reviewed by Snidermann

 

"Morning View," the latest CD from one of my favorite bands, is, sadly, simply more of the same music that the band has done on their previous two releases. It seems that the band is just rehashing what it did before, there's nothing fresh here at all. In a word: "Morning View" is boring! 

This is one band that seriously needs to grow. Unfortunately, with "Morning View," they've flat-lined. Almost everything sounds stale. 

"Morning View" is a big disappointment; hence, this so-so review for a so-so release.

Check out Incubus on the web at www.enjoyincubus.com

"Make Yourself" (Epic; 1999)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

 

Incubus is not just another California band, they were formed while still in high school -- how many of us who did that could say it's still ongoing? Only a handful, I’m sure. Incubus combines rap, funk and metal elements to make great music. Sometimes it's more alternative and sometimes it's more heavy-metal but it’s always excellent. Brandon Boyd has a great voice to sing along with and the guitar is heavy and funky and jazzy.

The rhythm is so well placed that you know this band is tight. Each song just gets better and better. Mike Einziger has a guitar style that is hard to pin down, but why would you want to box this talent? He always has guitar stuff going on and, with the incredible drumming of Jose Pasilla, this disc is a delightful mesh of insanity. 

The lyrics are some of the most important part of this band's music; they must be read along with to be fully appreciated.

“Battlestar Scralatchtica” is their instrumental contribution and it’s funky. There is a big kind of groove going on here. They could make a separate CD of this kind of jazz and funk and most people would buy it. 

I love this CD because it doesn't sound like any other group at all. Get up and go get this CD if don't have it already. You will not be disappointed.

The best tracks are “Privilege,” “Nowhere Fast,” “When It Comes,” and “Drive.”

Incubus: Brandon Boyd - vocals, percussion; Mike Einziger - guitars; Alex Katunich - bass; Jose Pasillas - drums and DJ Kilmore - turntables.

Check out Incubus on the web at www.enjoyincubus.com

"Make Yourself" (Epic; 1999)

Reviewed by Snidermann

 

I can honestly say that Incubus is one of the most interesting bands around today. "Make Yourself" is their latest release on Epic Records and, if you are an Incubus fan this CD is more of the same madness you've come to except from the band.

If you like rap/metal and are unaware of the magic that is Incubus, I suggest you finish visiting this site and then go right out to a record store and pick up "Make Yourself." You will not be disappointed.

Incubus perfectly blend rap and metal and do it was well as Rage Against The Machine and Korn. Yeah, there are a couple of cuts that are slow and mushy; however, the overall coolness of Incubus makes even the bad songs interesting. The storylines of each song sucks you in and keeps you there. It's like reading a good novel - you don't want it to end. 

As I mentioned, however, there is a downside. Some of the songs are a bit overblown and are way too heavy on the rap and not near heavy enough on the metal. Regardless, Incubus is at the forefront of rap/metal music today.

Check out Incubus on the web at www.enjoyincubus.com

incubus.jpg (9533 bytes)"S.C.I.E.N.C.E." (Immortal/Epic; 1997)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

 

"S.C.I.E.N.C.E." is a full-on jam fest from start to finish (55:48 minutes later). It took a couple of listens to get used to the flow of this CD. Sometimes sporadic and always funky, it has so many sounds that I couldn't even count them. The only sounds I didn't hear were a kazoo and a car starting -- everything else you can think of is in here. These guys are talented and love to experiment with instruments, even turntables!

Brandon Boyd's vocals are excellent, including the raps and screams while Mike Einziger's masterful guitar is all over the place. In terms of creativity he is at the top of the list. 

Overall this disc is more for the fans new to the band than anything. It may not hold your attention all of the time but it does have some great music. I think "S.C.I.E.N.C.E." shows the birth of something new; Incubus have their own niche and that makes them different. If you like things a little different when it comes to music, like I do, this CD is for you. The same old stuff gets boring and old but Incubus doesn't let that happen.

On of the definitions of "Incubus" is "An oppressive or nightmarish burden." Now that's mislabeling a band if I ever heard it!

The best songs here are "Redefine," "Vitamin," "New Skin," "A Certain Shade Of Green," and "Glass." And, at the end of the last track (at 4:34), a completely different side of the CD emerges. Some funny stuff about a guy who almost erases a track while filming. Then, at 5:43 a spoken word piece starts about an autopsy. Hold on for a few minutes while some instrumental music starts; it last about ten minutes. It's all kind of cool if you didn't know it was there.

Incubus: Brandon Boyd - vocals, percussion; Mike Einziger - guitars; Alex Katunich - bass; Jose Pasillas - drums and DJ Kilmore - turntables.

For more information, check out http://www.enjoyincubus.com

incubus.jpg (9533 bytes)"S.C.I.E.N.C.E." (Immortal/Epic; 1997)

Reviewed by Snidermann

 

INCUBUS are five guys from Calabasas, California - close friends since grade school - who joined together for the love of music and, as they say, a band was born. 

"S.C.I.E.N.C.E." is the name of the CD and I really liked this recording from the beginning. Incubus combines heavy metal, hip hop and funk to reach a sound that is nothing less than brilliant. The music is a cross between Rage Against The Machine meets Tangerine Dream with a little Faster Pussycat thrown in. This band is tight and obviously enjoys playing together. The tunes are well thought out little stories that are nothing if not fun. The music is a busy mix of trash metal, rap, rock and jazz, as well as some unidentifiable noises added to the mix to make the distinctive sound that is Incubus. I played this CD in my car on an average volume of 9+ and I still had a hard time identifying all the different layers of sounds that came out of my speakers. 

Incubus is Brandon Boyd, vocals, percussion; Mike Einziger, guitars; Alex Katunich, bass; Jose Pasillas, drums and DJ Kilmore, turntables. That's right I said turntables, this band uses turntables, not just for the rap effect, but as an integral part of the entire ensemble. 

For more info, check out their website at http://www.enjoyincubus.com

"Fungus Amongus" (Stopuglynailfungus; 1995)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

 

This was the debut by Incubus. It was released in 1995, and then re-released again in 2000 by popular demand. You can hear a lot of influences here such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Primus and Mr. Bungle because those bands were the reason for Incubus. Although disjointed and musically all over the map, "Fungus Amongus" has a spirit that wants you to champion the band.

Usually, a band's first disc is full of experimentation and can't anchor itself to one sound and fortunately Incubus kept with that mode. The vocals of Brandon are extreme on some songs and rap on others. No song sounds the same and that's what keeps this record fresh years after it was recorded. Mike Einziger is a master guitar player and at times its sounds like Steve Vai is playing backup guitar. The bass and drums keep with a sporadic changing beat per Brandon and Mike's collaboration.

You can also hear some future Incubus on this disc; their style hasn't changed and what works on later recordings can be traced back to "Fungus Amongus." The time changes and chord progression are courtesy of Mike Einziger who does more composing than playing. This is one disc that you can use as a sleep agent to provoke some funky dreams.

Incubus: Brandon Boyd – Vocals, Percussion; Mike Einziger – Guitar, Keyboards, Samples; Dirk Lance – Bass, Vocals; Jose Pasillas – Drums.

For more information, check out http://www.enjoyincubus.com.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2011 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 04 Jul 2016 13:22:04 -0400 .