8 - Incubus
Welcome back to 2004, where nu-metal rules the alternative airways, emo kids are a cultural force to be reckoned with and marketed to (thanks, Hot Topic) and Incubus had just released A Crow Left of the Murder - frankly one of the best albums of their career. I say welcome back because the band has just released their eighth studio album, aptly titled 8, and it may as well be the B-sides from thirteen years ago.
Incubus is a great band, or at least they have been in the past. This is their first real presence since 2013, and it’s hard to see exactly what they’ve been doing in that time. Slow burn jams like “Familiar Faces” is almost indistinguishable from their classic numbers, and the best songs on the record would fit right in with “Dig” and “Drive” - showing the world that Incubus really does know how to put out a single song in thirty different formats. Don’t get me wrong, though. If you’re a fan of the format, it’s beautiful. I know I’ve had my days of listening to Monuments and Melodies on repeat, and those were great days; but they’re rather in the past.
8 feels, more than anything else, like a re-release. There’s very little in terms of new material that stands out, though a few songs do shine through. “Nimble Bastard” carries in it a truly spectacular guitar solo that shines with technical skill and prowess. And “When I Became a Man” has a latin melody that plays out in a standalone light unlike anything else on the record. But when I can skip from the middle of “State of the Art” to three fourths of the way through “Glitterbomb” and not be sure if it’s a different song or just a different verse, there’s a clear problem.
8 is monotonous. It’s a monolith of Inucbus’ earlier work, hashed together with some better instrumentation and lyrics that, insofar as they matter, are close to identical to most other releases from the band. The album isn’t bad, by any means, but it’s not really worth your time. If you want to go relive your nu-metal days, go break out Make Yourself and sit through the real glory days, don’t bother with the modern nostalgia.
Top tracks include “Nimble Bastard”, “Loneliest” and “When I Became a Man”.