Fresh off the heels of my last disappointment, I get sent this new Incubus track. In a news blurb I read a couple weeks ago, they made reference that their new album was going to be “heavy” or “not soft” or something.
Clearly at their age, they completely forgot what those words meant. They are one of my favorite bands. S.C.I.E.N.C.E., Make Yourself, and Morning View were all perfect end-to-end. A Crow Left of the Murder was shaky for me, mostly due to the lack of bassist Dirk Lance, who was a driving force in their writing. Light Grenades had a few cool chill jams, but it was clear that they were strictly writing VH1 fodder at this point.
Side note… is VH1 still a channel? I haven’t had cable in years. I remember they let a bunch of whores fight over decrepit old musicians, but they would still play music videos every now and then.
I lost touch with Incubus between then and now. Here I am teased with this ominous declaration of a “heavier” album, and I get “Nimble Bastard”.
Christ on a fucking cracker this is terrible. It’s like a b-side from ACLOTM, which is by no means a compliment. Sure, there is distorted guitars and Brandon Boyd isn’t mumbling through the song, but it sure does suck ass. There is every opportunity to blast off the way many songs on Morning View did. But the attempts at big dynamic shifts are watered down. The drums aren’t driving. The guitar work isn’t interesting. Not a single record scratch in sight. is DJ Chris Kilmore even still in the band? Sure, he’s in the picture, but I think he got demoted to guitar tech.
I’ll just add this to the list of bands that have been bad longer than they have been good and didn’t hang it up when they should have. The mean age of this band is 40. Apparently that is too old for funk-nu-metal-alternative… type bands to keep making good music.
I feel that my description of the song is vague and short, but that’s how it left me feeling. Like I had missed something. Like I had fallen asleep in the middle. Like they weren’t even trying and they are riding out the end of a long record contract that they regretfully signed in their youth. A quick googling shows that this is their first record on Island after a long run with Epic. There goes that theory. Turns out they are just shitty now. I wish I could say they were probably still good live, but this lack of energy in a controlled studio environment gives me a great deal of doubt.