CD Cover Incubus
Immortal / Epic

Review by Darren Kerr

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, my clients Incubus are today charged with being mere Faith No More clones, and of being dispensible in today's hard music climate.

Certainly I would not dispute that Brandon of the Jungle's evil-lounge-singer-morphing-into-teeth-gnashing-maniac vocal style is emulative of the great antagonist, Mike Patton. I also would not argue that a couple of these songs would not sound out of place alongside FNM tracks like "Caffeine" or "The Gentle Art of Making Enemies."

However, guitarist Michael Einzinger and bassist Alex Katunich are mining a groove vein uniquely their own. I give you Exhibit A, "Nebula." Surely the chorus is unlike anything you've heard. Witness the riffs from "Redefine" and "Idiot Box," Exhibits B and C, respectively, for more undisputable proof. In addition, does DJ Lyfe's innovative turntable scratching not give Incubus an added element of originality, and, indeed, their own sound?

For my last example, I present to you Exhibit D, "Magic Medicine." I hate to coin the over-used term 'trip hop,' but that's basically what it is. The combination of beats, bass and children's book is indeed its own unique entity.

My clients Incubus are a young band who rely mostly on word-of-mouth to get their music to the people. Though they are most definitely deserving of the exposure, MuckMusic won't touch 'em, nor will they be heard over the stagnant waves of allegedly modern rock radio. So I have one last thing to say in conclusion, and then hopefully we can all go back to our loved ones and put this whole sordid business behind us.

If we condemn Incubus for sounding somewhat like Faith No More, then we must certainly condemn Creed and Days of the New for sounding like Pearl Jam. We must condemn Jamiroquai for sounding like Stevie Wonder. And we must condemn Jewel for sounding like Satan. Indeed, we must condemn almost the entire music industry for sounding like itself.

The defense rests.

First published in Drop-D Magazine on April 11, 1998

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