Incubus' hit singles "Megalomaniac" in 2004 and
2005's "Nice To Know You" put the 5-piece band on the global
music map. After taking a year off to compile tracks for their sixth
studio album Light Grenades, Incubus - who call Los Angeles,
California home today - got some much needed R&R (rest and relaxation)
and are ready to return to the touring circuit, feeling good about
their new release produced by Brendan O'Brien (Pearl Jam,
Stone Temple Pilots, Bob Dylan, Rage Against The
Machine). The songs on Light Grenades have reflections
of the band's old alternative rock/nu-metal shells with combustible
guitar rips and chains of ranting drums but enhanced them with new
components to attract new fans who are looking for melodically juiced
vocals absorbed by refined emo-esque shading in the instrumentation.
Incubus show on their latest album that they take their art seriously,
and they do treat their music as an art form and are willing to explore
beyond the boundaries of the alternative rock/nu-metal/post grunge
Formed in 1991 in the San Fernando Valley suburb of Calabasas, California,
band members Brandon Boyd (vocals), Mike Einziger (guitar),
and Jose Pasillas (drums) came together in the tenth grade
and formed Incubus. It was a time when the music scene was filled
with burgeoning grunge and alternative rock bands, mostly from the
Seattle, Washington area. Incubus made a name for themselves as early
as 1999 with their album Make Yourself which left a lasting
impression on US radio listeners due to the success of "Drive"
and "Pardon Me." In 1998, Chris Kilmore joined the
fold on organ, piano, and melloton and bassist Ben Kenny came
on board in 2003 replacing previous members DJ Lyfe and Dirk
Lance, respectively. The themes on Light Grenades show
a maturity in the band's sense of harmonizing and tailoring the instrument
parts to sound good together. Incubus' raspy guitar hooks accouter
the title track and the rock umbras of "A Kiss To Send Us Off."
The album also lightens up with atmospheric bouts like "Quicksand"
and "Dig" shingling a succession of silhouetted tones, fluttering
apertures in the notes, and smooth vocal melodies that take on a similar
shape to Xiu Xiu, As Tall As Lions and Hem.
Incubus also dips into power ballad kingdoms, very close to those
power ballad bands of the early '90s like Firehouse and Warrant,
and more currently Dashboard Confessional, with "Love
Hurts" and "Oil And Water." The mid-tempo numbers like
"Diamonds And Coal" and "Anna Molly" toss in rumpled
guitar lines and tight keyboard segments that come close to sounding
like vintage Incubus with metallic shackles wrapped around layers
of instrument frazzles. Still present are the tender sentiments which
honed "Pardon Me" and "Drive" audible on "Earth
To Bella: Part 1" and "Earth To Bella: Part 2." Incubus
manages to spawn frailty and elegance while piling textures of metal
based sequences with serried action and flurries.
Incubus have weathered conditions created by Linkin Park, Korn,
Deftones, and POD in the past and they continue to grow,
embrace and adapt to music's mutable currents. Their latest album
Light Grenades is music that is representative of its time
and has possibly even fashioned a few songs that have a timeless quality
to add to the band's collection of "Pardon Me." Incubus
remains creative in music's ever changing mood swings and has broadened
their mindsets without relying on contrived fillers to produce movement.
They eased up on the stiffness that nu-metal bands often fall into
and let maturity take control.
2. A Kiss To Send Us Off
4. Anna Molly
5. Love Hurts
6. Light Grenades
7. Earth To Bella (Part 1)
8. Oil And Water
9. Diamonds And Coal
11. Paper Shoes
12. Pendulous Threads
13. Earth To Bella (Part 2)
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