Friday April 21st marked the release of the 8th studio album from alt-rock (art rock) band Incubus. Incubus are one of my favorite groups and I am very excited they have new music out.
The band from Calabasas, California started their journey in 1991 while vocalist Brandon Boyd, lead guitarist Mike Einziger, and drummer Jose Pasillas were enrolled in Calabasas High School and later expanded to include bassist Alex “Dirk Lance” Katunich, and Gavin “DJ Lyfe” Koppell; both of whom were eventually replaced by bassist Ben Kenney and DJ Kilmore respectively.
In honor of 8 and the 20th anniversary of S.C.I.E.N.C.E. here are my favorite Incubus albums & EPs with my favorite songs of each album/EP.
Aqueous Transmission, Nice to Know You, Wish You Were Here, Just A Phase, 11 am, Mexico, Warning, Echo, Have You Ever, Are You In?, Under My Umbrella
- This is my favorite Incubus album of all time. I couldn’t sleep one night and decided to listen to this album on Youtube. Previously to listening to this album I had heard some of the singles from it but never heard the full thing. When I finally did I fell in love. This was Incubus’s most diverse and different album ever and being that they wrote this album next to the beach it was beautiful. Coming off their commercial success of their album Make Yourself which was also a pretty experimental album with a more hard rock edge but also slower songs it worked well. This album though took a more experimental turn but also had a lot of darker toons on it to. Songs like Aqueous Transmission, Are You In?, Nice to Know You, & Echo were where DJ Kilmore’s DJ skills were very much present with Aqueous Transmission being their slower song. Aqueous Transmission uses many different instruments in it as well like a sitar. Nice to Know You, Wish You Were Here, Warning & Echo were their more guitar driven songs and were some of the singles off the album. For the deep cuts off the album like Just A Phase, 11 am, Mexico, Have You Ever & Under My Umbrella Incubus took a darker turn lyrically. They talk about things like being in a relationship with someone who takes you for granted on Mexico. Just A Phase and Have You Ever keep that more hard rock edge they started with their first few albums. With Are You In? they do more of their funky bass lines and groves they started in S.C.I.E.N.C.E. It’s a fun little number that will make you wanna get up dance. This album is in my option is their best album in their discography.
Pardon Me, Stellar, Drive, Battlestar Scralatchtica, The Warmth
- This was Incubus’s first commercial success and where many fans started to take notice. Songs like Pardon Me, Stellar and Drive were and continue to be radio staples. This was the first album that got me into this band as my sister & brother where huge fans of their sound. It would take me until I was around 14 to really get into the band fully. Pardon Me is my favorite song by Incubus ever and I love it’s harder sound but also DJ Kilmore’s scratching and the lyrics are amazing. Drive was their softer more radio friendly song which was a big departure of their last album S.C.I.E.N.C.E. Battlestar Scralatchtica was a quick little number that showed off DJ Kilmore’s skills on the turn table. The Warmth was one of the heavier songs off the album and was about not letting society and the people in your life make you feel bad and to basically see the good in the world and yourself and remember to live life and forget the haters. Over all this is one of my favorite albums by them.
Summer Romance (Anti-Gravity Love Song), Idiot Box, Glass, Nebula, Deep Inside, Magic Medicine
- Their first big album amongest fans S.C.I.E.N.C.E is celebrating it’s 20th anniversary this year. Now before this year this album would have been lower on the scale for me but since it was celebrating it’s 20th anniversary I decided to give it another listen. To be honest I like this album a lot more then I thought I would. Now I’m not a huge fan of their more nu-metal sound but they do have some really funky tracks on the album which I can get behind. Summer Romance (Anti-Gravity Love Song) & Deep Inside are their more funky bass leaning tracks with Glass being the more alt-rock leaning song. Then you have Idiot Box and Nebula which are the more nu-metal sounding tracks and Magic Medicine is their experimental instrumental track. A way better album then I gave it credit for and glad I took the time to check it out. Happy 20th anniversary!
Dig, Anna Molly, Love Hurts, Earth to Bella, Part 1, Earth to Bella, Part 2
- When I was 14 Incubus came out with their 6th studio album Light Grenades and it was the first album by them that I started to actually get into. This album was a big departure from their past albums as it left their more hard nu-metal sound behind and started the trend of sounds you would hear on their next two albums. With songs like Dig and Earth to Bella Parts 1 & 2 Incubus took a more soft indie-rock/acoustic style. Then with songs like Anna Molly and Love Hurts they went the more alt-rock rout which works well for them and it helped these songs to become main stay on rock radio to this day. Not my favorite album by them but better then some others who will come down the line.
A Crow Left Of the Murder
Megalomaniac, Talk Show On Mute, Here In My Room
- When Incubus came back for their 5th studio album I was getting into them a little bit more but wouldn’t get into them fully until a few years later with their 6th studio album. This album came out when I was around 12 and my sister and brother where big into it. When I got into it later I loved it a lot. From the loud hard track Megalomaniac which many connected to our then two term president Bush and now can use it for our Orange Cheeto and anger and frustration people were and are feeling about our leaders. Then you have the rock radio single Talk Show On Mute a more alt-rock sound with Brandon’s beautiful vocals. My favorite track off this album is the slower ballet song called Here In My Room where Brandon belts “Love is a Verb, Here in My Room”. Overall this album took their experimental sound of Morning View and the more alt-rock sound they started on Make Yourself to make a really great album.
If Not Now, When?
If Not Now, When?, Promises, Promises, Isadore, Adolescents
- In 2009 Incubus came back with their next studio project after Light Grenades, If Not Now When. The album was their biggest departure to that point from their first couple album’s harder rock sound. Adolescent was the first single and one of the only alt-rock songs on the album with most of the other songs being a lot slower like Promises, Promises the second single. Isadore and If Not Now, When? are more of those slower rock tracks where Brandon’s vocals got to shine bright. This album was not really what many fans wanted out of the band at the time but it wasn’t a bad album by any means.
Nimble Bastard, Glitterbomb, Undefeated, Familiar Faces, Love In A Time Of Surveillance, Make No Sound In The Digital Forest, Throw Out The Map
- This is Incubus’s 8th studio album and after being around for over 26 years as band and one of my favorite bands this one is not as grand as I thought it would be. Not to say I don’t like it but it lacks that punch that they used to have. With their first single Nimble Bastard I got excited as it was a rockin track and the album does have its moments to it that I like a lot. (Plus the video is too cute & involves Dogs vs. Cats) Throw Out The Map is a more heavy track along with Love In A Time Of Surveillance. Make No Sound In The Digital Forest is their instrumental more experimental track on the album and one of my favorites. Glitterbomb, Undefeated, & Familiar Faces are the slower rock songs where you can definitely hear the guitars feedback very heavy. Over all the album is not bad by any means but not my favorite by them either.
When Incubus Attacks Volume 1
Pardon Me (Acoustic), Pardon Me (live), Favorite Things (Acoustic), Steller (Acoustic)
- This EP was just an acoustic album full of acoustic versions of songs off their first two commercial albums. I will say I like the acoustic version of Favorite Things better then the harder version off S.C.I.E.N.C.E.
Trust Fall Side A
Absolution Calling, Trust Fall
- During the time that we had to wait for their next studio album Incubus gave us an EP which only had three songs on it. They was suppose to be a second EP but at the time Brandon and Mike and the other members of Incubus had side projects that they were doing as well. This EP is short & to the point. Absolution Calling is the first single off the EP and it’s a more of their alt-rock standers just like Trust Fall.
Monuments and Melodies
- This was a song off a compilation album of songs off their first 6 albums. They put one new song on the album to give fans something to look forward to before the next album release. Admiration is another alt-rock track perfect for radio. At this point in their career Incubus had put their hard rock days in the past for more alt-rock/indie rock sound. Over all an amazing track.
Other Projects Outside of the Band:
- He put out a solo project which I haven’t listened to fully but like the single from it Runaway Train. He also between their 7th and 8th studio album put out a group called Sons of the Sea which I listened to the single from it Come Together which has a very interesting music video where Brandon and this girl (black girl mind you) are rolling around in a bath filled with milk (kind of hot yet kind of weird lol). He has also been doing a lot with his visual art and has had many art shows and sold many pieces. Oh and can I just rave for a second on how cute Brandon is even at age 40 and that voice is literally everything. So soothing and just melodic and so good.
- Mike has been working with everyone under the sun. A lot of hip-hop acts and electronic acts which is how he came to know Skrillex who helped with their 8th album. He also helped to produce for the Internet’s second album and was featured in the music video for their song Dontcha. Another big clam to fame was helping to produce the Avicii song Wake Me Up ft. Aloe Black. What a bop.
So this is Incubus in a nutshell. They are a great band who I think are just getting older so they’re not always going to make that hard rock or even alt-rock songs we fell in love with them for. I think I will always love this band and will follow them through any of the projects they pursue in the future with the band or solo.