Incubus – 8

Another band that defined our youth in music is back with a new album, six years after their last release. We’ve been following the media lead up to the release o ‘8’ by Incubus quite closely and were slightly bemused by the volume of dog related photographs. Well, all was revealed when the video for ‘Nimble Bastard’ hit the web waves last week. Secret Agent dogs, whatever next?

Anyway… Musically, there’s definitely hints of Incubus of yesteryear. We thought we were in for a full albums worth as Mike Einziger’s opening chords on ‘No Fun’ ripped out atop José Pasillas’ punchy, splashy drums before giving way to half screamed, half sung vocals from front man Brandon Boyd. That theme is continued throughout the lead tracks up to ‘Glitterbomb’.

Things take a turn at this point with tracks like ‘Undefeated’ (a soaring pop ballad) and ‘Loneliest’ (synthesized drums under experimental and atmospheric guitar licks) offering less of the Incubus you know but showcasing a range of styles they take to with ease and deliver with impact. The moody, grunting bass of ‘Love In A Time Of Surveillance’ drives the album forward in the back straight only to be interrupted by the atmospheric jam that is ‘Make No Sound In The Digital Forest’, where Einzinger really gets the chance to go crazy with his pedal board.

The album ends much in the same way that it started with the lazy back and forth of overdrive laden guitar chords and exploding drums of ‘Thrown Off The Map’. Aside from the strange interlude ‘When I Became a Man’ and Boyd’s closing remarks (“Shaka Kahn mother fuckers. Snap!”) this is a solid showing from the Incubus camp. The middle may throw some, but listen through a few times and it’ll start to find its place. Now we’re off to dip our toes in the sand because the ocean looks like a thousand diamonds strewn against a blue blanket. Wish you were here ;-).

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