With their anticipated album Light Grenades dropping on Nov. 28, I wanted to take this time to look back at the gracious So-Cal band Incubus, starting from the 90s when they first started and didn’t quite sell out yet.
Another reason why I’m looking back on Incubus is because they just happen to be one of my favorite bands of all-time, and the three following albums seem to be the best.
Incubus is made up of Brandon Boyd (vocals), Mike Einziger (electric guitar), Jose Pasillas (drummer), DJ Chris Kilmore and Ben Kenney (bass guitar). Boyd and Pasillas met in fourth grade, and the others came joined the group in high school.
Their debut album, Fungus Amongus, sounds as if Incubus decided to go to an auto-body garage to get that authentic garage band sound. Some of the key tracks on this 10-song disc are “Shaft,” “Medium” and “Sink Beneath the Line.” This album is somewhat of mimicry of older bands, such as Primus and The Red Hot Chili Peppers.
S.C.I.E.N.C.E., Incubus’s second commercial album, stands by its name, with each song sounding as if it were biochemically formulated in a stereo lab with spectacular results. I am unaware of what this acronym stands for or who the mustachioed man on the cover could possibly be.
“Favorite Things” is a song that is truly one of my favorite things. It contains the lyric “Too bad the things that / Make you mad / Are my favorite things.” These lines are something that I find to be very humorous, and they show that everyone has a dark side to them.
The track “A Certain Shade of Green” is the album’s funk metal highlight, convincing the public to join a magical order and to open our minds intellectually, philosophically and emotionally.
Make Yourself, the third release from Incubus, is the most well-known album to date. Going platinum in the United States and reaching the top five in Billboard’s Modern Rock Tracks, Make Yourself presents us with the hits “Pardon Me,” “Stellar,” and “Make Yourself.” This album represents the band’s growth and more mellow tones.
“Pardon Me” is a song about those stuck in society’s conformities, and trying to break through as a young person. The lyric “A decade ago / I never thought I would be / A 23 on the verge / Of spontaneous combustion / Woe-is-me,” shows that.
“Make Yourself” is a song about how does not need to depend on others. You just need yourself, hence the lyric, “If I hadn’t made me / I would have been made somehow / If I hadn’t assembled myself / I’ve fallen apart by now.”
The other two albums by Incubus, Morning View and A Crow Left For Murder, were good albums, but it just seems that Incubus’s sound had changed for the worst. It was as if they were being hypocrites to themselves and conforming to the public as opposed to staying true to their sound.
Incubus is one of my favorite bands just because they are not the traditional rock band. With the incorporation of turntables and psychedelic guitar riffs in a modern-age alternative rock band, and with songs featuring messages of being true to oneself and trying to find your way home, even while under the influence of a magical substance, is something that makes them out the box.
With the release of Light Grenades, I can only pray that this album is something that was not just complied together and shipped off to music stores so adoring fans will know that Incubus is alive, but for the sake of producing good music to accommodate those who enjoyed the younger and better Incubus.