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Album Review: Incubus – 8

2 min read
Photo: Brantley Gutierrez

Incubus return with a new album, 8– you guessed it, their eighth studio album. The band includes the talents of; Brandon Boyd (vocals, guitar), Michael Einziger (guitar, piano), Jose Pasilla II (drums), Chris Kilmore (keys) and Ben Kenney (bass).

8 was produced by Dave Sardy (Wolfmother, Jet, OK Go, Marilyn Manson), and co-produced by  Sonny Moore a.k.a. Skrillex, a close friend of Einziger, who without a doubt added an EDM element to their music-for example an understated trap beat features in the track Loneliest. However, Skrillex showed his versatility in producing and mixing the more conventional rock sound of Familiar Faces . Overall, 8 keeps true to the Californian rock aesthetic in its guitar driven sound, reminiscent of the time when Incubus formed, 20 years ago. You could imagine them doing sets at such legendary clubs as The Roxy in their prime with their most recent creative project. The first single lifted off the album, Nimble Bastard, perfectly captures this impression.

I find myself drawn to the slower tracks that Incubus create for some reason. I feel that their sound comes to life and thrives in these more paced tracks as in Undefeated, Loneliest and Love In A Time Of Surveillance. These tracks highlight the experimental nature of their music and draw parallels to their earlier releases like Make Yourself (1999) and  Morning View (2001), which occupy a number of nostalgia synapses in my brain. Boyd’s style of singing seems to suite these tracks better. All the elements fuse together and have time to settle in your mind for your full appreciation.