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Single Review: Incubus – Absolution Calling

2 min read

Recently signed to Island Records after having been without a label for the past three years, multi platform band Incubus have just announced the upcoming release of two self-produced EPs. The first, Trust Fall (Side A) is set for a March release with its primary single, Absolution Calling available this month. Incubus have warned fans to expect diversity and high energy from their new material and this first single signifies an evolution in sound for the band.

Incubus Absolution CallingAbsolution Calling sees the Californian quintet combining the hard-hitting rock for which they’ve become known, with a slightly more electro and upbeat edge. The track kicks off with a synth-driven intro, which quickly merges into a powerfully driving bass line, mediating between these two musical directions. Throughout the opening verse lead singer Brandon Boyd’s vocals are as impressive as ever, sounding clean and crisp against the screeching backdrop of a distorted guitar line.

There is a gradual build to the chorus, with the introduction of a backing vocal part creating a driving momentum in between Boyd’s lyrics.

Unfortunately through the chorus the vocals don’t pack as much of a punch as the build up would lead you to expect. Due to their sheer volume and power, the heavy bass and drum combination risks drowning out the chorus vocals, making Boyd almost sound like he has to strain to be heard.

However, this is countered by the track’s breakdown, three minutes in, which brings a welcome change of pace to the single. Here Mike Einziger’s magnificent soaring guitar solo suddenly drops away leaving just the vocal melody which then slowly builds again to a dramatic conclusion. Here Brandon Boyd’s vocals come into their own and show that, almost 25 years since the bands formation, his voice still carries impact.

While the overall track is not immediately accessible, it is easy to imagine Absolution Calling being highly successful in a live setting and eventually welcomed warmly by fans. As Absolution Calling sees the band headed in a slightly different direction, incorporating more of an electro edge, it will be interesting to see to what extent the two EPs follow this similar pattern. For this track however, Incubus promised a high energy and they definitely delivered.