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THE BAND - INCUBUS
Californians Incubus were formed in 1991, attached over musical genres as metal, prog-rock, pop-punk to emo and funk they are known for been predictably unpredictable, but yet triumphant in most things they try and accomplish.
Brandon Boyd - Lead Vocals & Guitar
Mike Einziger - Lead Guitar
Ben Kenney - Bass
Chris Kilmore - Turntables
Jose Pasillas - Drums
Incubus although not known so well over here, have had much commercial success in the States, with numerous successful singles as 'Drive' and 'Megalomaniac' reaching multi-platinum sales. Hitting the mainstream masses eight years since formation with the release of 1999 album 'Make Yourself' ever since Boyd and co have never looked back.
INCUBUS - IS A DEMON IN MALE FORM, THAT LIES ON TOP OF MAINLY FEMALE SLEEPERS IN ORDER TO HAVE SEX WITH THEM!!
THE ALBUM - A CROW LEFT OF THE MURDER
Incubus's fifth studio album A Crow Left of the Murder, was released February 2004. Debuting at number two on the U.S Billboard 200, and selling over 330, 000 copies in it's first week alone. It's since gone on to be certified platinum. The album recorded at Southern Tracks recording studios, in Atlanta, was recorded completely live.
Four singles came off the album track opener Megalomaniac which caused controversy as it was an attack on the Bush regime, which got it banned from day time viewing for it's political statement. The second single released was Talk Shows on Mute. Two further singles were released but only as radio edits, such as Agoraphobia and Sick Sad Little World.
This album has a Parental Advisory label, due to the content of the explicit lyrics.
This album is also available as an enhanced CD, with behind the scenes video footage with the band explaining their new sound and discussing what they are all about.
The albums title is interpreted as 'Rebellion' or 'Murder' which is the collective noun for a group of Crows. This largely describes the band's political ambition in its liberal message, it's a clear attack and rebellion against tyrants Hitler, Bush, Stalin et al which is transcribed in the notes inside the booklet, showing a murder of crows, insisting to the listener a left stance.
Studio albums to date...
Fungus Amongus (1995)
Make Yourself (1999)
Morning View (2001)
A Crow Left of the Murder... (2004)
Light Grenades (2006)
1. MEGALOMANIAC (4.54)
Boyd claims differently however its widely recognised as a scathing attack on George W. Bush, however the band maintain it's about megalomaniacs in general. Opening track and lead single Megalomaniac scratches and graciously grates through the opening 30 seconds before we build into another minute of climactic distorted electric guitars and bass, which just explodes with such venom, certainly a MEGA intro...which will have your toes tapping wildly with power! We then calm down for the opening verse, before breaking into rapture for a rocking atmospheric awesome chorus, 'Hey megalomaniac! / You're no Jesus! / Yeah, you're no fucking Elvis! / Wash your hands clean of yourself, baby / And step down, step down!' the theme continues throughout the rest of the opener, but it's a classic, awesome opener of thrashing progressive rock! 10/10
2 A CROW LEFT OF THE MURDER (3.30)
Quite a cheerful, joyous opening...it's upbeat and bouncy! Its driven by guitar's that release further venom on the chorus. Rolling drum lines in support throughout. Its fast and flowing. Boyd's tones are inter changeable as he violently spurts out the chorus. 'From here on it's instinctual / Even straight roads meander / Every piece contains a map of it all! / It all!' A new directive for Incubus with the use of instrumentals in certain areas, giving Boyd a break, which mixes the song up nicely. More care seems to be taken to the arrangement than in the past. It's not one of the best songs from the album, but it's catchy enough, and will get you moving! 6/10
3 AGORAPHOBIA (3.52)
Agoraphobia is the third single released of the album, however it was only really issued as a radio edit to promote the album I guess. This third song takes a shift in sound, as we dramatically turn down in speed, but it still retains the intensity especially with the grabbing chorus, which Boyd's voice shines through... in fact with the lack velocity it enables Boyd's voice to shine through as he taunts 'I wanna stay inside / I wanna stay inside for good / I wanna stay inside / For good' .. obviously agoraphobia is the fear of going outside, however I'd imagine the lyrics are more of an attack about the state of the world, so the fear to tread on the streets rather than the disease itself. To me this has a real late 80s styled theme bordering Indie/ rock feel, with rich power chords and special effects sampling around in the background, maybe sounds a little like the softer side of Pearl Jam or Ugly Kid Joe or something similar. 6/10
4 TALK SHOWS ON MUTE (3.49)
Talk shows on Mute was the second single released of the album, the song was penned watching a talk show obviously on mute, Boyd bored would narrate his own directive giving him the imagination for the song the lyrics impose on such novels Nineteen Eighty-Four and Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? 'Still and transfixed / The electric sheep are dreaming of your face / Enjoy you from the chemical / Comfort all America' an unusual intro in keeping with the title of the track, not something I enjoy, again continuing where we left off from the previous song its slow and melancholic. I'm surprised it was a single as it's fairly bland and lacks any desire of sex appeal, the production saves this from total failure but it just okay. 5/10
5 BEWARE! CRIMINAL (3.48)
Track five raises the spirits once more as we turn the speed back up a notch, it's full of catchy bizarre riffs, the arrangement makes this a success, hi-low shifts and a good use of percussion and other goings on! Boyd's vocals again reticent of Pearl Jam's sound. Beware! Criminal, is about stealing affections, the lyrics are beautifully crafted and possibly the best of the album, 'A prism with an intellect / You throw your light selectively / You stole my glow, a seasoned thief / The blacks of my eyes are turning into opals' Quite Insightful. I think this maybe a grower, but it packs a reasonable enough punch 6/10
6 SICK SAD LITTLE WORLD (6.23)
A little bit of anger in this the longest song of the album, and one of my favourites, We kick into Sick Sad Little World with Electric guitar riffs, that are accompanied by snare drum, which blends into the bass that joins them up nicely. Again a new sound for Incubus with the use of instrumentals, which are stylish and gives the track extra atmosphere and depth. The Guitar solo's really work here, some swirling, poignant sounds that last over a minute, really crunching and the driving force behind the song. What's more I like the way Boyd has the ability to shift his voice 'I've never had unpaid confidantes / It's more than I would care to explain / But I have an open door policy / When it comes to blame' maybe a little slow for some Incubus fans, but I applaud the sound as it offers up something completely different 7/10
7 PISTOLA (4.23)
Distorted radio transmission styled intro, quirky full of loops...until we eek out some angular staccato riffs! Before we speed up to a furore of sound, Pistola, regains the impetuous of Megalomania with its venom and power and intensity, Boyd's voice shift suitably once more from almost shouting furiously to softer tones! Pistola is really driven by crashing, crunching riffs and lengthy solos that gives this a nice mix, the hooks are wonderful on this and maybe the best on the album for me. It's very atmospheric again with the instrumental shifts put in, but it really packs more than its fair share of punch. The chorus is the highlight as he creams 'And my pen is a pistola / Let go of your fear / And my pen is a pistola' Really surprised this was not released as a single, one of the best of the album for sure, really gets you moving! 9/10
8 SOUTHERN GIRL (3.41)
Southern Girl is a rock ballad, fairly stripped back, voice slightly feathered by percussion and a gentle riff, and slow basic drum line. It starts off really well, and I can buy into it, the heartfelt tone and lyrics are reliable enough 'So come outside and walk with me / We'll try each other on to see if we fit / And with our roots, become a tree / To shade what we make, under it' ...until we kick into a pointless guitar solo, that seems to lose the songs sincerity momentarily, until we kick back into the next verse, its formula of fast-slow, fast-slow kind of works, but its no epic and at times you get a little lost as it meanders on becoming a little bland. Overall it's a good track, but it could be oh so much better 7/10
9 PRICELESS (4.07)
This is pretty aimless and just rubbish! Again fast-slow, fast-slow track that really does not sit well, nothing to like here, and most definitely prices less, or pay less! Its a very different sound to the rest of the album and borders rap-rock that Incubus have been known to do. It's rough on the ears and just a wall of bland noise to me. 'The look on your face was priceless! / The look on your face was priceless! / Yes, the look on your face was priceless! / That look, it was...' ....my look was actually utter disgust. Worst song of the album by a long stretch, stay clear....move on people, nothing to see here 1/10
10 ZEE DEVEEL (3.52)
Zee Deveel whatever that means is just odd' ...its built around some quirky sounds, and voice shifts from Boyd. It has a jazzy guitar influence, with solo's to follow suit later on in the piece. It adds charisma to the album, as its unexpected and lands you in a totally different direction, however that's not to say I'm totally in tune with this, in fact as a single I don't think it stands out alone, and its fairly forgettable but as an album track its good enough. The chorus of 'You should be careful what you wish for! / 'Cause everyone of us has the devil inside / You should be careful what you wish for! / Cause all of what amounts becomes you' is a slight highlight, just average really 4.5/10
11 MADE FOR TV MOVIE (3.38)
Quite a laid back appeal to this simple constructed song, it jaunts along safely with just Boyd's voice and guitar, until the chorus kicks in, again it jumps around from a fast-slow, fast-slow stance, the intro and the finish are the highlights in otherwise a fairly boring song. 'It fell like a tear from my eye / Flying machine so up high / Well, there goes the neighbourhood'...Gives the impression we are been looked down upon by another being, as they watch us destruct our civilisation, possibly another scathing attack on Messer Bush, Saddam et all. 3/10
12 SMILE LINES (3.59)
Mixed feelings about this, it's essentially an upbeat song, with the premise on love, it's not a ballad, it's more of a fun outlook on the event 'Met my match today / Felt the blood rushing and mingling / A curious and enigmatic thing / Now spiders in my dreams.../ Synchronicity weaves like a web / When you were meant to be a meal!' it's slightly better than average I think, the highlight been the chorus, which picks the pace up suitably, and the surging voice of Boyd gives it a really nice edge and a touch of yearning as he cries out extending the words, other highlights are the rolling drum lines, which plays a more prominent role than most tracks of the album. A really good effort here, and one I'd happily listen to again 6.5/10
13 HERE IN MY ROOM (4.20)
A quiet song, with a touch of a ballad! Its intro gives the indication this could be of epic proportions, but it slowly drags, and becomes fairly repetitive. The hi-low arrangements are good, and I like the use of violins and instrumentals to give it character and atmosphere. It seems a little sordid 'If the world would fall apart / In a fiction worthy wind / I wouldn't change a thing now that you're here / Yeah, love is a verb here in my room' ...rather than poetic, but it kind of works. Again more of an album track, that slows down the speed of the album for its finale. 6/10
14 LEECH (4.19)
So to the finale, and what a mix of sounds this holds! A fantastic eerie sinister opening, that joins up with Boyd wailing! it's a feverish pace felt with much anger, seems to be about the loss of someone and there disgruntled outlook since they don't need you anymore 'I'm in over my head, I need a pick-me-up / Its easy to get high when you're standing on our backs, man / Will anything ever be good enough for you? / Stand on your own, hold your water if you can' ..Funnily enough I think what lets this down is the chorus, otherwise Leech is one of the best songs on the album, and in my opinion should have been released as a single, as it really grips you. Maybe the instrumentals in the latter half of the song go on too long, but it quickly recovers its form, to end the album on a high. 8/10
It's clear that Incubus have matured as a band, A Crow Left of the Murder has clearly moved on replacing heavy walls of noise/guitars to a more softer prog-rock feel, it's a cleaner sound, but without losing its edge. All bands need or try to evolve, or change a sound to avoid becoming stagnant and I believe they have achieved this however Id imagine at the loss of old hardcore fans in the process.
Although it's lyrically penned largely against the exploits of George W.Bush, it's not too in your face as of previous albums, which the lyrics have been hugely significant, on this rather than urging to preach to its listener, its just a clear message of charged anger without been over explicit.
The album is very rocky, but with thumping dance grooves, its ferocious and explosive and dominating by guitar power plays. However unlike before we experience adaptability with the use of arrangements and the use of instrumentals and lengthy guitar driven solos.
The rhythms are tight and largely effective, the melodies less apparent but increasingly differing. The compositions direct all over the place driving off on different tangents, spiralling out of control but always returning to its original sound.
Brandon Boyd's voice has grown with maturity and his ability to switch tones with ease brings an extra appeal, suffice to say his singing has improved dramatically.
A Crow left of the Murder is much darker than Incubus's normal sound, however its done In a way that keeps it clean and interesting. Its much more of a Prog-Rock, punk appeal, progressing away from its more metal sound. It has a late 80s early 90s styled theme, which very much reminds me of Pearl Jam, or something similar from that era.
Highlights from the album has to be opener Megalomaniac which is sublime, and eventful Pistola. Some of the other tracks appear to scale the same heights but tail off failing to capitalize on its momentum, which Is a shame as it would make the album much more memorable.
Sadly, I think there are many downsides to the album too, most notably Priceless, which is just a bore, Made for TV Movie...which just shouts out desperation and Zee Deveel which is just strange, but does have minimal appeal.
Overall though I think the album is a success, it perhaps tries to stretch itself in different directions to much, a touch over ambitious but its very likeable and appealing. I think if you've never heard of Incubus before then take a listen to the opening track, if this fails to inspire you, then I doubt this sound is for you, if you are a fan of early 90s prog-rock, punk then give this a go!
Amazon Price : £3.49
Incubus were a band that I discovered by accident when scrolling through the music channels one day. MTV2 is the ultimate source for rock based music and hosts artists from all across the world, even though its primary focus is American and British acts. Before I'd heard the fifth album from the Californian five piece, I'd managed to catch the mellow but strongly sung 'Drive' and 'Wish You Were Here' a couple of times but overall thought of them to be a little bit average.
Incubus are still a bit of an underground sensation, as they never seem to have enough courage to release songs from their albums officially, with half of the singles on this collection being heard only on the radio. In many ways, it's because of their somewhat tedious sound; as you will learn, they seem to be a bit limited on many occasions in terms of the varying of emotions and the use of instruments is quite bland. Yet, one thing that many more experienced fans should be expecting is a brief change of bass technique, an underlying instrument that sometimes can stand alone in a song and make it sound a lot moodier than intended.
This is mainly because the bands original bassist, Dirk Lance as his stage name calls him, left the group in 2003 and was replaced by Ben Kenney, who had played for a hip hop outfit called The Roots beforehand. There were already some of those influences within the band with Chris Kilmore on the turntables. None of the other band are big hitting names that you'll know at the drop of the hat but joining them on this record are Jose Pasillas on drums, Mike Einziger on the lead guitar and Brandon Boyd on the mic which is without a doubt the bands biggest asset in many ways with a slightly nasal but strong voice that can carry many of the somewhat ordinary tracks into a more memorable place.
On many occasions, Incubus have been dubbed as a bit of a Linkin Park clone group, the latter being much more successful and widely recognised than Incubus themselves. It's pretty much a lazy thing to pit the two against one another; LP's lyrics are a lot darker, intentional angsty and altogether designed to target those in the awkward stage of adolescence. Incubus however crosses that demographic well; in spite of their overall sound being a bit symmetrical to one another, there is a variation in there somewhere but it does take quite a dedicated listener a few times to uncover this.
'Megalomaniac' has many qualities that makes it an excellent first single; contagious, fidgety with an odd lyric to make it a frankly awe consuming first track. The beginning of scratching and various sound effects that make it sound like a light sabre fight is underway in the background soon mounts into ear splitting outburst of guitars and drums. Being politically charged, in light of the power struggle that the world often sees between countries, the surreal video pronounces that journey with images of Stalin and Hitler. The break down in the middle displays some of the softer and higher vocal ranges of lead singer Brandon and for that reason in itself is one of the bands greatest achievements across the board.
'Talk Show On Mute', the other single that was released with a video package, has a little bit of an eighties electro feel to it which splutter at the beginning much in the same way the first song did. It also looks at some of the choices on a different scheme of things, this time welcoming the listener to '1984' with reference to the doping of society with mind numbing TV. Written on a plane, after Brandon was narrating a talk show to the masses, it peaked at #3 in the American charts but the anger that the lyrics sometimes tinker with is a little lost in the mix vocally but may have been used as a way to display the apathy also implied here.
The two songs that were radio only releases were two good choices as they did act as a way to promote the album as something that would be a good listen for more commercial appreciating fans and otherwise. 'Agoraphobia' focuses heavily on its name sake, talking about the 'wanting to stay inside'. There is a lacking of intensity here which I felt would be a necessity within a song that discussed a panic disorder and it seems that the passion of the vocals was very distant. 'Sick Sad Little World' started off promisingly; there's a really effective dark echo effect that distorted the overall vibe and made it very moody and destructive track. It had many ways of dipping in and out of softer and heavier tones but the main problem was that it dragged on a bit too long and didn't do enough to hold a listeners interest for all of the six plus minutes.
'DO YOU GET IT YET?' (The killer album tracks; lyric from 'A Crow Left Of The Murder')
The album's title track featured all the force that a song such as 'Agoraphobia' should have held dear. It has a strong bass line to and the guitars really uped the momentum before some of the stunted guitar moments towards the end. 'A Crow Left Of The Murder' is more of a track that prides itself on it tune as opposed to its story but it holds its own on here in quite an imposing way. The same if true of 'Beware! Criminal'; it follows the impossibly mellow 'Talk Show On Mute' and is another mid tempo track that lets the music drive the lyrics. Yet, the main issue with this is that sometimes it drowns out Brandon's vocals a little too much, making the song seem just a bit of a bash of noise, albeit a good one.
The song 'Southern Girl' was one I didn't really like to start with; it's a bit slow and a little too slushy but it grows on you because of how easy it is to listen to. Logical, with a great tale of endless infatuation, Boyd's voice is at its most fragile and sensitive here and really makes the track a winner, which finishes in a less generic way than many numbers on here. 'Made For TV Movie' has a very Nirvana-esque feel to it which I personally appreciated. Using an interesting array of dubbing, especially over the vocals, that made it stand out a bit and shows that the band in most situations can always pull off a mid tempo number. It seems to be the contingency to 'Talk Shows On Mute' in the way it addresses some forms of society.
The twelfth track 'Smile Lines' has an upbeat feel to it and one of the things that makes this more apparent is because of the higher vocals which interlink very well against some of the yelling moments. The pause in the middle offers an insight into the bands creative habits of joining the lyrics and tune in a convincing way; whilst talking about high school never stopping, the music fades out before buzzing back into a full onslaught of musical magic.
Although One Republic emerged a lot later after this albums release, 'Here In My Room' from the opening piano chord made my mind shoot to that particular band. The penultimate track manages to use that instrument in a way to give a retrospective thought pattern, which is only reinforced by the other entwining sounds. Yet, it could have gone either way; there were moments where the vocals became a bit lost in the mix, thus losing some of the beauty of the words of lost security and hope. Managing to pull itself back round though, 'Here In My Room' makes for a good listen but I wouldn't brand it as one of the albums defining moments, not by any stretch of the imagination.
'YOU'RE NO F*****G ELVIS (The albums inevitable filler; lyric from 'Megalomaniac')
In itself, 'Pistola' isn't a bad track; it's got a solid sound and groove to it but it's a bit average in that sense. It sounds a bit like what I'd consider to be a cross between Blink 182 and Muse and, whilst they'll obviously be some clashing of styles and techniques as a predictability, here it goes completely overboard in trying to sound louder than anything else on the album to the point where the screeching, mechanical sound effects that are oddly similar to the latter bands far superior 'Plug In Baby' in the background are just unnecessary. 'Priceless' suffers from a similar problem too; its drum beat is incredibly harsh and the guitar riffs sound to be in a constant battle for supremacy which is only heightened by the repetition of the words that were a bit all over the place and a little dull. However, 'Priceless' has a vibe to it that I think would suit a live atmosphere but away from that it struggles to cope, especially after the rather intriguing 'Southern Girl'. 'Zee Deveel' doesn't pick up from this standard either and again suffers a bit through its rather tedious timing. It goes off into a bit of its own tangent in the middle in a bid to try and make it a bit more invigorating but for me, it didn't work as well as it could have.
Being the albums lasting impression, 'Leech' is a very average effort. By this point, you know exactly when the track is going to mix between the darker and lighter tones so it doesn't have any surprises left for the listener. Yet, it's still enjoyable but being the finale of 'A Crow Left Of The Murder' I have to say that it wasn't the most forceful way of ending the album and could easily have been a track flung in during the middle of the album somewhere to keep the pace going.
However, I would like to point out that none of the tracks from 'A Crow Left of the Murder' are necessarily bad; it's just that some of them stand out and leave more of an impression that others on this album but all of the songs are fairly memorable in their own right and each have an interesting hook or two - even if they are all nearly identical to one another!
OVERALL: WHY BUY 'A CROW LEFT OF THE MURDER'?
A Crow Left Of The Murder' isn't an album you could listen to on loop day after day; you'll appreciate it for what it is every time you dig it out of the CD rack but away from that, it could never be an album that would captivate you for longer than a couple of days. To its credit, very few albums do have that quality but due to the large amount of sound repetition here, it's particularly notable as being one of the albums less appealing features. Having said that, the band have done a great job in producing their work; it may be too formulaic for some, as you do know how the tracks are going to go pace wise and how it uses the instruments and in what order but there is something quite endearing about that; it is overall a comfortable listen that many people could enjoy but with the heavier tracks, it may seem a bit unrealistic to say this would be a fantastic, mainstream release. Then again, it does tip toe around the idea with numbers such as 'Southern Girl' and 'Talk Shows On Mute' having much more indispensable charms about them.
From the stand point of being a relatively new fan by the time this album was released, I have to say that I wasn't instantly blown away by much of it at all. 'Megalomaniac' will always rank up there as an amazing song but I think that whilst this album could cross demographics from adolescence into adulthood, it definitely suits the latter better. I must have been about fourteen or fifteen when I first bought this album but it's only up until now - after is disappeared into the oblivion of our downstairs CD cupboard - that I've listened to it properly and really began liking many of the tracks.
All in all, you should buy this album if you have heard of Incubus before - even if only by name - or if you want a step up from their previous work. Or if you want a more mature version of Linkin Park.
Length: 58.44 mins
Buy at: Play.com for £3.99 - free delivery!
(Please note: review previously posted on Ciao.co.uk under the same username)
---Don't Panic (yet)---
Another late night for me accompanied by more of my neighbour coughing and spitting his lung into the toilet before trying to inhale it back in again. What can one do to avoid this noise that would drive even a one-legged diseased pigeon that really shouldn't want to cling on to life anyway (but clings all the same) to the point of no return? You can start by killing the neighbour!
So, now that I've confiscated the offending lung and informed his wife that I don't care if she's just given birth to a five headed llama-god, I don't want to hear her sobbing about it in the bathroom at stupid o'clock, I have decided that I should get my finger out and review something. That something, I decided, will be music. It helps me wind down.
Up comes Windows Media Player (aka Satan in music player form) and I flick through the album covers 'til I find one that has not came from an illegal download. It's only polite that I review something I can hold in my hand *Note to self: Do NOT review penis....actually...*
The first band that catches my eye is Incubus. I'm not sure which album yet so, first of all, I'll give you a brief history of the band.
Incubus (which is a demon that screws women while they sleep, pleasant eh?) started life way back in the good old days of 1991 (just like my baby brother) with the enviously gorgeous Brandon Boyd (who could screw me while I'm asleep if he wants) as the lead singer and they are still going strong with a Greatest Hits albums due out in June this year (Monuments and Melodies). They fall under a hell of a lot of categories but I find the most appropriate to be Alternative Rock. They are occasionally rather heavy, they are at times incredibly mellow. They are one band that my whole family agree are rather fantastic and we all have a stupendously different taste in music. It's all good.
They have 7 albums to date (Fungus Amongus, Enjoy Incubus, S.C.I.E.N.C.E, Make Yourself, Morning View, A Crow Left of the Murder and Light Grenades) and continue to push the borders with their music (they get quite experimental at times) but all in a fabulously sexy way that your ears will love. Or else.
The album I shall be reviewing today is...*closes eyes and points*...(I guess this part is less exciting for you since you already know what I've chosen. Shh, don't ruin the excitement for me)....A Crow Left of the Murder! Ace.
ACLOTM (as I shall henceforth be referring to it as unless I get bored or slip up and that's assuming I do actually need to use it again) was released in 2004 after ditching the old base player (Dirk Lance) and acquiring a new one (Ben Kenny) and is one of three Incubus albums to have had a number 1 single in the US. The U.K. charts have no taste in music. The artwork takes a different route from previous albums and goes down a very interesting route and for some reason it makes me think of Japanese artwork. As with any good album, in the booklet you will find all the words to the songs so when you come to the bits you don't know you can look it up. Or just make it up yourself.
---When it screams---
Ok, finally, the music!
---1 - Megalomaniac - 4:45 ---
---If I were your appendages I'd hold open your eyes so you could see...---
We begin with what every passenger that got in my car in 2004 said sounds like a spaceship taking off. Personally I think they are talking a load of bollocks. It sounds like a plethora of noise and radio static. It is the introduction to Megalomaniac. About 50 seconds in it fades into a guitar riff and builds into a very atmospheric start to this brilliant song. The chorus's are a bit heavier and faster with some rip roaring guitars, making way for the mellow verses. This one is very similar to the kind of music on earlier albums so I would have to give it a thumbs up. Apparently people believed it was a dig at Mr Bush and was kept till after the watershed. Personally I just aimed it at people who let their ego's get the better of them and let my mind run away with itself. And we all know how dangerous that can be.
---2 - A Crow Left of the Murder - 3:30 ---
---Every piece contains a map of it all---
Right from the get go this song puts a smile on my face, a cheery, upbeat guitar riff and some drums will have you dancing. Then Boyd's voice kicks in and it just makes the song an instant jump along song. What it is actually about I do not know but its so good that I don't really care.
---3 - Agoraphobia - 3:52 ---
---I want to stay inside for good---
The name being the fear of going outside, this song slows the album down a little after the bouncy songs that started it off. A little more jazzy than the previous two rocky offerings, this comes with yet another catchy chorus and lyrics that can be applied to a strained relationship type situation if you really want to. More thumbs for this track when Boyd goes into his high-pitched whinings in the middle. Sounds bad written like that, but this guy has a lovely voice.
---4 - Talk Shows on Mute - 3:49 ---
---You're so much more endearing with the sound turned off---
Continuing with the slower pace, another perfect piece of music from the boys. Very relaxing if you don't listen to the words which seem to make a very cutting observations on the state of society and their crave of five minutes of fame. Either that or they just really hate Trisha. Another thumb for the boys.
---5 - Beware! Criminal - 3:48 ---
---A butterfly under the glass: You are beautiful but you're not going anywhere---
One of my favourite Incubus songs of all time. The pace is back up a little for this rocking ditty, full of catchy little guitar riffs, vocal acrobatics and some brilliant lyrics all about someone who stole the affections of whoever wrote the song and then crushed him like a poor little bug. Again that's just my take on it. Despite the subject matter it's actually one of those deceptively happy sounding tracks that will have you bouncing along and singing with every chorus. I DEMAND MORE THUMBS!
---6 - Sick Sad Little World - 6:23 ---
---Leave me here in my stark, raving, sick, sad, little world---
Electric guitar starts. Snare drum joins. Bass begins threading them both together. BAM the song begins. This is one I like to drive fast to, mosh to, scream along to...other things. This comes with what I call "Incubus anger". It is a strange feeling. It is anger mixed with self pity, rolled in a helping of "you all suck and I don't" sprinkled with "go away and leave me the fuck alone" baked till it is a colour that can only be described as "come here and listen to what I have to say, you idiot"
This is also the longest song on the album, most likely due to the instrumental middle section that lasts a while but in true Incubus style never gets boring. After building you up throughout the whole song, the last few lines wind you down nicely to a close. Thumb anyone?
---7 - Pistola - 4:23 ---
---My intention: a bullet, My body: a trigger finger.---
A song most likely about the power of the written word and echoing the spaceship-esq noises we began on, this song makes me a very happy person. It's another fast paced jump around type track with some amazing lyrics to boot. Boyd is a bit more shoutey in this song, but still stupendously good with it. If this song were on my hand, it would be my thumb.
---8 - Southern Girl - 3:41 ---
---You're an exception to the rule, You're a bonafide rarity---
This song cuts out all the background noise. What I mean by that is that there is always a tonne going on behind most Incubus songs. This one cuts it down not quite to basics, but back to instruments rather than instruments and noises. A lovely riff echoes over a plinking base line, all covered by Boyd's smooth voice. Chuck a violin or two in and here we have a very pretty love song. Thumbs all round.
---9 - Priceless - 4:07 ---
---The fact that you think you can speak to me the way you do leads me to believe you've never stepped outside the skin you live in---
DRUMS!!!! This track will jolt you back into the hear and now with a rather drum orientated ditty. A song most likely about that look people get when they realise you have just screwed them over completely. Yay for that. Fast paced and comes complete with some impressive guitar solos. In saying that if I had to pick a song on the album I didn't like much, it would be this one. Not that its crap mind you, just not as good as the rest. I shall refrain from thumbing this one.
---10 - Zee Deveel - 3:52 ---
---You should be careful what you wish for 'cause every one of us has the devil inside---
This one always makes me think of a circus. Its got a rather odd rhythm to it and Boyd funks it up a little by singing in whispers, shouts and whoops of joy (as well as just his perfect voice). The lyrics will talk about not judging your value on how much you are worth in pennies and effectively calls you an idiot if you do. I quite like the way this song clunks along with it's weird timing. Makes me smile. So I shall give it a thumb.
---11 - Made for TV Movie - 3:38 ---
---Hello? I'm trying to focus but my eyes deceive me---
Another song I love for the lyrics alone, conjuring images of aliens looking at us and being shocked at how much we like to kill each other. It's a nicely paced little ditty taking a less than serious look at the serious state of the world. Good stuff boys. Come here so I can give you a thumb...
---12 - Smile Lines - 3:59 ---
--- So, insecurities are about as useful as trying to put the pin back in the grenade---
Essentially another love song, but more of the happy ones that laugh at how silly we get when we fancy the pants off of someone. I'm all smiles after hearing it, every time! Fast enough to bop to, slow enough to take in what's happening, it really is just a magical song that will make you remember your first crush and how much of an idiot you really are (but all in a good way). Thumb!!! THUMB!!
---13 - Here in My Room - 4:20 ---
---I came here expecting next to nothing, so thank you for being that kind of girl---
And...STOP. That's pretty much what this track does to me. It's one of the slowest tracks on the album. It is, however, beautiful. An eerie mix of bass and violins coupled with Boyd's perfect voice. The whole song does make me think an awful lot of the Wizard of Oz with lines like " You enter in full blown Technicolor" and the pre-chorus "if the world should fall apart in a fiction worthy wind". This makes me happy. All of my favourite people make references to the Wizard of Oz. The whole song, however, seems to be more about shagging some girl. Eww. Still thumb worthy.
---14 - Leech - 4:19 ---
---The ride's over, did you enjoy yourself?---
Back to the anger with this song, the last on the album and rather fitting. Every time I hear it I wonder if they purposely wrote it as a song to put on the end of an album. The whole song is peppered with cries of "the ride's over, did you enjoy yourself?". Apart from that rather choice placement, the song is also about getting rid of people who you just don't need. You know who I'm talking about.
---Let it go---
So, that's what Incubus do. Overall I wouldn't say it is the best album they have released but then I also wouldn't say it is bad. For it is not. Not only does it come with more thumbs than a rent boys rear, it is very good! It fits in nicely with the rest of the collection and though, at times, it does echo the styles of previous albums, it still appears as fresh and new material. If you are a lover of music Incubus will have something you like. If not, then you suck. Get out of here.
I have always found Incubus a slightly strange band, but compelling to listen to. That they are experimental is no lie, that they are brilliant musically is also true, that they never get much limelight in the mainstream is equally accurate. They are quite different, though best described as 'Nu metal'.
"You're no Jesus, you're no F***ing Elvis"
A song about a celeb/star that gets everywhere. Raunchy guitar and drums, great vocals, loveley 'trancy' backtrack to the rock foreground. Great opener. 8/10.
Track 2. A crow left of the murder.
Starts very Nirvanish to me, in that there is a great sense of musical competency and urgency, and I can't cleary hear all the lyrics, or understand them. Nice sound to it nonetheless. 6/10.
Track 3. Agoraphobia.
Much slower than the first two tracks. Still a heavy guitar and drum backing. Again, very Nirvanish. "I wanna stay inside, I wanna stay inside for good" Not exactly unexpected lyrics for the titel! Seriouskly though I like this track it is haunting, catchy and angsty. 8/10.
Track 4. Talk shows on mute.
Quite a clever song lyrically and the music conveys the story well, very good. I am reminded a bit of REM with this song, there is a really nice repetetive 4 base line which kinda getes into the head. 8/10.
Track 5. Beware! criminal.
very angsty, bit self indulgent, lyrics reminiscent of 'Butterfly collector' by the Jam. Song does build well into a quite tortured crescendo. Again, I could be listening to Nirvana. 6/10.
Track 6. Sick, sad, little world.
Oh please Emo heaven, it really could not be more manufactured in it's lyrics, message and meaning. 2/10.
Track 7. Pistola.
Nice freaky start, lots of experimental sounds, really like the intro, builds well, solo guitar, joined by drums, then nicely balanced vocals. Quite a political song that 'bursts' into life with a great headbanging rock beat. Brilliant. 9/10.
Track 8. Southern girl.
Really interesting story told by song. I like this, music is complementary to the song (for a change). 8/10.
Track 9. Priceless.
What the F**k, rubbish, trying to hard, almost like rap metal, but does not work for me, and the lyrics "eel infested oceans", please!! 1/10.
Track 10. Zee Deveel.
Nice opening few bars, this is what Incubus do best in my opinion, bring you in with a hook that is different and works. Oh dear, it does not get any better than the intro, very pretentious. 2/10.
Track 11. Made for TV movie.
Oh dear, is this a Nirvana album? bit more trancy than the last few tracks, not great but okay. 5/10.
Track 12. Suite lines.
Another great intro, drums getting faster, guitar enters, we just know that this is going to be a good track, and it is. Angsty again, but much more of a punch to it, it rolls along nicely. I could listen to this several times. Good. 7/10.
Track 13. Here in my room.
Great track, very trancy and hallucinogenic in feel and words, a kind of mix of Nirvana, late Beatles, Evanescence and yet individual...new genre; Emo psychadelia. 9/10 best track on the album.
Track 14. Leech.
Another strong track to finish. Good use of vocals here. Strong lyrics, match up with the music, nice. 8/10.
There is a fair amount of swearing in many of the songs which does not bother me, but it might some. Incubus are a good band, but I get the feeling with this CD that I have heard much of it before, mainly from Nirvana. On other albums they are a lot more experimental and different and this is where there strength lies. This is not their best work but does have a few strong tracks. The CD artwork is great by the way, nice big red drawn rose with black petals, both on the cover and on the CD itself.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
2 A Crow Left Of The Murder
4 Talk Shows On Mute
5 Beware! Criminal
6 Sick Sad Little World
8 Southern Girl
10 Zee Deveel
11 Made For TV Movie
12 Smile Lines
13 Here In My Room