Californian nu-metal funk turned alt rockers Incubus have returned with ridiculously imaginatively titled eighth record ‘8’ that maintains their recent form of writing decent radio-friendly rock that, although is generally unimaginative by the band’s back catalogue standard, still has enough interest and great singles to warrant the release.
‘8’ doesn’t throw up any surprises as the band remain down their solemn and casual rock path and leave the aggressive metal aesthetic to their peers, but Incubus are comfortable in their own skin and still kicking out easily digestible hits. The soft ballad of ‘State Of The Art’ is a stand-out example of relaxed radio rock at its best and perhaps a reason why the ageing band have avoided record scratches and breakdowns in their latter years.
The first sample of the record came as ‘Nimble Bastard’ back in February, and it still stands as a fun chorus-heavy rock track that has sing-a-long quality and jaggy guitars that hold the Incubus tone while still remaining safe and sound for the appetite of all. When the news emerged that electronic dance producer Skrillex was mixing and producing the record, it raised some eyebrows of what the Cali beach boys had in their treasure chest, yet his influence is almost so unrecognisable that he must have been in From First To Last Sonny Moore mode.
Would a nu-metal Incubus album be any good in 2017? Probably not. So, the Hoobastank alt rock version of the band is better than nothing, and they’re pretty damn good at it. Sure, ‘Glitterbomb’ is a bit dull, but Brandon Boyd still has that trademark and unique twang to his voice that makes Incubus cool as fuck, and there’s still nods to the past with brief toned-down guitar exerts in ‘Life In A Time Of Surveillance’.
The band even show that their sense of humour is still there with a minute long tale of learning how to shower in ‘When I Become A Man’.
Naturally, this is ideal for fans of ‘If Not Now, When?’ and ‘Light Grenades’, but if you’re expecting the Incubus of old – and surely nobody is by this stage – then you’ll be disappointed once again. Enhance your American Summer chill out drives by listening to ‘8’, and forget about the old days.
Written by Mike Heath (@MikeBeef)