Review: Incubus – S.C.I.E.N.C.E.

The nu-metal era was a crazy time for the music scene. CD sales were exploding, rap-rock was dominating the airwaves, and bands like Korn, Limp Bizkit, and many others were packing the clubs nightly for their brand of music. Incubus, to me, always seemed the ones most likely to break free of the nomenclature of the nu-metal genre, as they had a more polished sound, an ultra-talented vocalist in Brandon Boyd, and a rock sound that with the right help of a producer would launch them into the stratosphere of notoriety. Fast forward to 2022, and Incubus’ second album has turned 25 years old. Much like how Boyd laments on the penultimate track on S.C.I.E.N.C.E., I feel like shouting, “I know exactly where we are…where the fuck are we?” How did a band as talented as Incubus break free of the chains of nu-metal and still leave a lasting legacy of this record that so many longtime fans adore, yet the band feels shy to talk about? The answers can be found in looking to the future that seemed to be a little uncertain for these California-based rockers searching for their own footing and identity.

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Review: Incubus – Morning View

It’s amazing what a little visual perspective can do for a band. While many of the 90’s Alt-Rock and nu-metal scene were sledging away in the studio, Incubus decided to create an environment most conducive to the music they wanted to create. The band decided to live in a large, spacious house in Malibu, California. This would be the last record made with bassist Alex “Dirk” Katunich, and he described in interviews that the band, “tried to do that for at least the writing portion of Make Yourself, but we didn’t have enough clout at the time. The idea was to not feel as if you were driving [somewhere] to work on a record. You could just get up and it was a natural extension of your day.” Vocalist Brandon Boyd shared that sentiment in other ways by saying, “every time we’d pull into the street we had the view of the ocean and Pacific Coast Highway. I got a big creative boner every time I’d show up to the house.” And from that, Incubus would give birth to the record now known as Morning View. If Make Yourself was an introduction to the sound that the band would start to round out their repertoire for their career, Morning View was them becoming true artists in every sense of the word.

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Review: Incubus – Trust Fall (Side B)

Incubus - Trust Fall

With their first new music released in three years, Incubus has returned with an expansive EP called Trust Fall (Side B). Much like their last release, 8, the music presented on this EP tackle a wide range of emotions and styles. What I have always appreciated about this band is that they never make the same record twice, and they continue to push the boundaries of their expectations on what their music is and can be. This record is no exception to this rule, as Incubus continues to cover new ground on this collection of songs.

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Review: Incubus – Make Yourself

Inclubus - Make Yourself

Rewind for a minute back to 1999. Nu-metal looms large with bands such as Limp Bizkit and Korn dominating the airwaves and record sales. RollingStone magazine is saying for the millionth time that rock is dead, or at the very least, on life support. Little did that magazine realize, a small yet remarkable movement was taking place. Incubus had started to establish a good career for themselves on their sophomore studio effort S.C.I.E.N.C.E. , and were slowly but surely getting rock fans to turn their heads towards the Calabasas-based band. Enter the third studio album, Make Yourself that has just turned 20 years old. Produced by veteran hit-maker Scott Litt, Incubus made a conscious effort to leave the nu-metal bands they built a scene with scratching their heads in disbelief as the band would evolve their sound into an alternative rock powerhouse that would go on to sell over two million records in the United States alone. While Incubus had grabbed my attention on S.C.I.E.N.C.E., they became my new favorite band on Make Yourself.

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