The full length debut from Incubus sees the band continuing where the Enjoy Incubus mini-cd left off. A mixture of Chilli Peppers and Faith No More isms essentially, with some extra percussiveness. In some respects, it breaks no new ground, yet in the musical climate of 1997 it's a breath of fresh air. Sure, there is a lot of good stuff around at the moment, but it's all going down the same avenues. As good as many of the new bands are, they're peddling the same fare. You've got the Korn sound, the Wildhearts sound, and the alleged 'new Goth' sound. And most stuff is following that. Incubus, despite being Korn labelmates, and having supported them here in January, avoid all those paths.
Redefine is a great opening song, with an excellent chorus, with Brandon in his full on Patton mode. Heavy and funky at the same time, it brings to mind the days of the turn of the decade when the funk metal thing was going at full pelt. It's a difficult thing to follow up, but they manage to do it with the next few songs, Vitamin, New Skin, Idiot Box and Glass. New Skin in particular standing out.
Magic Medicine is an exercise in pointlessness to these ears. Basically an instrumental, it doesn't really go anywhere or do anything. One of the many examples of a band wasting an oppportunity with a song.
A Certain Shade of Green and Favourite Things fortunately pick things up again. ACSOF in particular stands out, a cracking riff, before it all gives way to a great chorus. Up to now, things have been predominantly pretty heavy, with extra effects and percussion thrown in and the almost obligatory weird bits thrown in. Then we get Summer Romance (anti-gravity Love Song), which is a whole new sound for the band. It's a great song, but in a way, rather than emphasizing the band as unique, it amplifies the FNM comparison. FNM in their lounge lizard mode. That's what comes to mind. A bit unfair to tag a band like that maybe, but with Brandon's vocals especially, it comes with the territory. The vocals are excellent mind, to my mind, it's a compliment to be compared with Patton. And it's a song almost as cheesy as FNM have managed in their prime. Quality
Nebula continues the quirkyness, and is another great song, before Deep Inside and Calgone finish the album off, Calgone in particular with a great chorus. Then it's the obligatory 'hidden track' of samples and tomfoolery.
Overall, this is a good album, which sees them building on the EP. It will take a few listens to absorb everything, and there are criticisms, but, if you liked the EP, or you like FNM, then get a copy of this. It's one of those albums from a band that leaves me wanting more. You know, you like the new album, but you immediately think damn, it's going to be a few more years before there's any more new stuff . Pick it up the same time you get Faith No More's latest, and if you spot the Human Waste Project album, or the new Voivod, pick them up as well.