Killing and Flying away...Death from above?

January 29, 2004

--Posted by Baron von JeR @ 17:19 PST.

An album review by Baron von JeR

Incubus- A Crow Left of the Murder (2004, Epic/Sony)

Okay, so this album isn't supposed to come out until February 3rd, but thanks to the advent of a miracle we call the internet ( ) … some of us can relish and drool in the next step of Incubus' career.

Or do we? Since the addition of Ben Kinney (formerly of the conscientious HipHop act The Roots) in place of well-respected-amongst-bass-guitarists Dirk Lance, the primarily-Calabasas, California-bred rock quintet moved into a softer, and almost redundantly nostalgic terrain.

Starting out with the current radio single "Megalomaniac," the album falsely hints that the album would return to its experimental and cerebral brand of hard rock. However, further listening entails of that annoyingly catchy Garage Rock trend blended with the funk, reminiscent of Red Hot Chili Peppers. Unfortunately, this follows suit throughout the ENTIRE album. So much so, that each song that Incubus seemed to conjure up this time seemed like one big song mashed into different parts, much like hearing one big bridge of a song while walking under an orange canopy on the way to see the Wizard of Oz. Yeah, that's how it feels like.

Vocally, the heartthrob known as Brandon Boyd didn't seem to accomplish too much as he did with their last three albums. After your voice jumps leaps and bounds and encompasses everything from folk singing to shrill screams to R&B vibratos (i.e. "Nebula" from their 1997 release "S.C.I.E.N.C.E."), you can only go so far, can't you good ol' Brandon? The only place TO go was higher, as in pitch- which turned out to be not very well-receptive amongst hardcore Incubus fans.

Instrumentally, DJ Killmore is practically non-existent in providing organic samples, Mike Einziger promised to his guitars to be retro but more obscure, but only coming to sound like the alternative rock movement of the early nineties. Drummer Jose Pasillas II has reverted to street-punk beats whilst steadily retaining off-beat-but-still-on-beat jungle/drum'n'bass patterns. And the most-closely-watched Ben Kinney does the new material justice. As an accomplished instrumentalist, Kinney brought on a whole new vibe that "inspired" a "new" direction for the band.. although it sounds a helluva lot like rehashed retrogressive noise, than an outbound odyssey into a cerebral future- with most of us were hoping for.

Stand-out tracks are:
"A crow left of the murder" Call and Response strings accompanied with flying vocals.
"Priceless" Breakbeat opening fused into Funk-Punk
"Leech" What the Album shoudlve sounded like, reminiscent of the now-defunct postPunk band, At The Drive-In.

Final Thoughts

Very organic and satisfyingly droning. Its pretty good upon further listening, but not too much rawking/rocking or catchiness this time around.

Album Rating: 7 of 10

Had it been any other band, it woulda got a 6. Go buy it when it officially comes out anyway...don't want any of our faithful Limitless-Fans getting subpoena'd now, don't we?