"A Crow Left of the Murder" |
Incubus’s quest to find their ever evolving sound is never-ending and the notorious ability of this band to take their music one step ahead every album makes their newest release “A Crow Left of the Murder” a force to be reckoned with on all aspects. Every member of the band is at his best on this album and giving their whole in this inspiring blend of all areas of the music spectrum.
Lead guitarist, Mike Einziger, is once again a defining achievement as he displays his full reign of the instrument in his jaw dropping guitar solos in songs such as “Sick, Sad Little World” and “Priceless.” In a blurry of surreal sounds and subconscious messages you hear the clear “voice” of Einziger breaking through setting the tone straight once again with every song. In earlier albums, such as Make Yourself and Morning View, Mike’s ability to intertwine metal and funk with every chord became a corporate standard within the musical community. In the past he may have taken the background to lead singer Brandon Boyd’s lyrical ability but with this 6th full-length album he is truly given the chance to standout like he deserves. And he does just that.
As before stated, Brandon Boyd has always been the most distinguishable in the band as not only an amazingly gifted lyricist but also a talented purveyor of aggressive political and social commentary with his catchy lyrics and drawn out wailing. In the song “Megalomaniac” we hear his thoughts on the vanity of politics and his ability to bend every syllable into a flowing mass of imagery that has continually put him in the lead of the Alt-Rock Genre with such greats as Raine Maida of Our Lady Peace and Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins. The rest of the track listing does lack the content that albums like S.C.I.E.N.C.E. and Make Yourself had but to no avail the messages are received at all junctions aurally as Boyd’s vocal talent is demonstrated to the masses with every song. His ability as an overqualified front man should place him once again at the top of every girl’s “wish list” and every guy’s “sell-out” side-banter. Without question he ranks with the best.
With the departure of founding member Dirk Lance, many were skeptical of whether or not Incubus could release another album with the same quality as all their previous albums, let alone find another bassist with the creativity of Dirk. Well newcomer Ben Kenney, previously of Philly superstars The Roots, dissuades all detractors as he focuses his talent to carry the backbone of this album giving Einziger the freedom to do what he does best: play. This is shown on the song “Leech” where Mike and Ben juggle for control as the rest of the band allows them to take hold of the song. Kenney’s ability on the bass is also shown on “Beware! Criminal” and “Agoraphobic.”
Not to be forgotten, Jose Pasillas shows the maturity of his playing with intricate drum fills on tracks like “Made for TV Movie” and hard driving off-beats on “Zee Deveel” and “Pistola” which pulls you completely into the depths and leaves you entangled with every detail of the song. His melodic way of playing the drums as an instrument and not just a metronome has really put him in a category all to his own and this album is the venue to really show his strengths.
And now comes DJ Chris Kilmore, the most underused and under appreciated musician in the band and once-again, taking the backfield with so much style, his technical abilities make it hard to distinguish him from Einziger. In the slow ballad “Here In My Room”, you hear the use of a haunting piano and violin accompaniment that leaves you immersed so deeply in the song that you find yourself waiting on every line in anticipation.
The ability of any band to bounce back from such a loss as one of their founding members is any achievement let alone continually putting out quality music that tests it's listeners such as this one. Incubus is truly a band that deserves everything it receives.
4 1/2 stars out of 5.
TRACKS TO LISTEN TO: "Sick, Sad Little World","Leech", and "Here In My Room"
ASIDE: The music video to "Megalomaniac" is an amazing piece that really captures the essence of the song to the fullest. Director Floria Sigismondi brillitantly depicts the rise and fall of politicians over time. It is definitely a must see.
Let me know what you think of my analysis of the album.