Incubus
Light Grenades


3.5
great

Review

by Tyler Fisher EMERITUS
November 27th, 2006 | 227 replies | 43,214 views


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Incubus creates a paradox with Light Grenades, releasing their most "album-like" release yet still finding more new sounds on it than any other album. All in all, just another consistent release from Incubus.

When asked about Incubus’ new album, guitarist Mike Einzinger stated “It sounds like 13 different bands playing 13 different songs...” Well, that’s a slight exaggeration, but he summarizes the album well in that statement. In the same interview, Einzinger revealed that every member of the band has some form of ADHD. That might explain Incubus’ evolution, constantly reforming their sound into something new on every album. Despite that defining sound to each album, none of their albums feel like albums. They are just collections of songs recorded in one span of time. Einzinger explained his longing to make a cohesive album, but stated this one might be the biggest mess of all. That’s why it is so fitting that Anna Molly is the album’s single, maybe defining the album with the line “It’s time we went and made a mess.” The album ranges from a simple acoustic ballad to a quicksilver, lightning fast punk song with tinges of electronica, pop rock, and many other sounds thrown in between. A Crow Left of the Murder featured many different sounds as well, but the album came off very inconsistent as compared to their other releases. Luckily, that is the only thing Light Grenades and A Crow Left of the Murder share in common.

A Crow Left of the Murder, the first album after the departure of Dirk Lance, played like a dirty, gritty, and angry album. Vocalist Brandon Boyd spoke out on topics further than himself with a brand new seriousness that none of his previous efforts even hinted at. The production style left an ambiguous sound where Mike Einzinger dominated everything. He left their new bassist, Ben Kenney, struggling to catch his breath. A few years and many live shows and experiences later, the band feels just as together as they were with Dirk Lance. Oddly enough, the title track Light Grenades picks up right where Crow left off. That same guitar tone found on tracks like Megalomaniac returns, except this time with a brand new vengeance. One of Einzinger’s fastest riffs yet leads the song into a song that possesses some of the best energy from a six album strong band ever. Ben Kenney manages to keep up this time as well. In fact, he even pushes the song along sometimes. Incubus obviously made a few compromises with Kenney, making him adapt to some of their style as they enveloped some of his. Light Grenades also sees the return of Brandon Boyd’s sarcastic tone. His cynical lyrics of “My God, will we survive ourselves?” throw back to his earlier recordings when sarcasm was his main weapon.

The song’s lyrical topic, however, stands out from the rest of the album. Everywhere else, Brandon returns to his relationship-based lyrics rather than sending out political world messages. Earth to Bella sings to a girl named Bella, obviously, who disagrees with many of Brandon’s ideals. The music jumps from an acoustic ballad to a spaced out, sloppily electric sound reminiscent of an early Muse. Part 2 shows the song and album closing much like a live concert, a dense, ambiguous sound with no real melody while Einzinger overdubs his guitar with effects and plays way high on the fretboard. While intending to have a great build-up and climax, they fail to impress due to a lack of dynamics and a very awkward build. Brandon’s vocals on the acoustic section are some of his best on the album, crystal clear as always. Unlike most of Incubus’ departures, Earth to Bella plays around with their song structure and it finds the band extremely uncomfortable. When the band expands their sound while remaining around their same song structure, it works much better. Dig displays that in full form. According to the band, Dig started as a strange R&B song. Hearing the song in its form now, the R&B version could have been fantastic, as the lyrics and style of the song still hint towards that R&B sound. However, Incubus reworked the song with a more pop rock sound. The band is no stranger to pop rock, but the mix of Einzinger’s arpeggios and acoustic guitar in the verse is new. The whole feeling of the song, purely happy and blissful rather than a tinge of depressing or sarcastic, comes as a breath of fresh air.

Dig also features Chris Kilmore’s newfound job on the keyboard. On Light Grenades, Kilmore is almost completely stripped of his DJ-ing duties. He finds his place at the keyboard, comping chords for the band so Einzinger has more freedom with his guitar. Still, sometimes, Einzinger plays along with the chord pattern and Kilmore. Masterfully, the two use different voicings and it leaves extremely deep and rich chords. Paper Shoes shows Einzinger playing second fiddle to Kilmore for most of the song. His piano stands out and leads most of the track. In the chorus, the chords of Einzinger and Kilmore sound their best together, especially when the song modulates and the guitar becomes a bit stronger. Paper Shoes shows another unique feature in percussion. Brandon and Einzinger attached body mics to themselves and beat on their heads and chests, which created a quick percussive sound that sounds like rapid fire congas.

Still, Incubus knows what they’ve done best lately. They create fantastic, accessible rock songs. Anna Molly creates just that and works excellently as the lead single. There is nothing innovative or new about the song, it’s just pure Incubus rock. The song finds Brandon singing about a girl that exists in his mind but he doesn’t know if she really exists in the real world. It’s catchy and accessible and features some great riffing as well, especially with a slight instrumental interlude in the bridge. However, a few of these poppier songs are just boring and bland. Oil and Water and Diamond and Coal, placed back to back, are easily the worst tracks on the album. Oil and Water finds an uninspired Brandon turning out some mediocre vocals, although the song does pick up a bit in the second half with some great vocal harmonies. Diamonds and Coal fails in its terribly generic and boring palm muted verse and underwhelming chorus. The two songs are by no means impossible to listen to, but they definitely drop the quality in the album.

Ever since their debut, Incubus has continued to make consistent and great releases. They’ve never stepped too far out and revolutionized the rock world but they’ve stepped on some toes along the way, leaving old fans behind and picking up new ones with each new sound they produce. As time goes on, the band finds even more ways to tinker with the sound and each album becomes less and less defined. That being said, Light Grenades is as much of an album as the band ever produced. It possesses a true album opener and closer, the electronic Quicksand and the jam-styled Earth to Bella Part 2, respectively. It feels tight and together, not a huge and unorganized mess like A Crow Left of the Murder. Few mainstream rock bands have six consistent releases to their name and it proves that Incubus has more talent than any band of their mainstream popularity. They’ve mastered creating a great, catchy song and don’t limit themselves to just that. Even at six albums, Incubus shows no signs of slowing down. Light Grenades is certainly worth a listen.

Recommended Tracks:
A Kiss to Send Us Off
Dig
Anna Molly
Light Grenades
Paper Shoes
Pendulous Threads



Recent reviews by this author
Das Racist RelaxLil Wayne Tha Carter IV
The Weeknd ThursdayJay-Z and Kanye West Watch the Throne
Shabazz Palaces Black UpFleet Foxes Helplessness Blues
user ratings (1368)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Mike Allen (3.5)
    "Light Grenades" is solid on the whole, but leaves something to be desired....

    Nathaniel (2.5)
    Incubus make a attempt to once again pursue a change in sound but spread themselves much t...

    Jonathan Kroening (3)
    A new definition of Incubus is necessary as the band moves further from its roots with no ...

    Generic Joshman (4)
    When it’s all said and done “Light Grenades” shares common traits that all great a...

  • Maat (2)
    Bass Guitar stands out, Classic Guitar takes the Front Stage. A new path for Incubus, but ...

    riobravo1023 (3)
    While it has only been 3 years since Incubus has released an album, it seems as if it's be...

    wrathi (3.5)
    Overall, Incubus has made an album that combines alot of elements from A Crow Left of the ...

    incubotic (3.5)
    Light Grenades, like every new Incubus album, sounds like nothing they've done before, whi...


Comments:Add a Comment 
TheMisterBungle
November 27th 2006



861 Comments


Wow, awesome review.
I might have to get this. But then again with all the albums to get on my list, maybe not.

Zesty Mordant
November 27th 2006



1196 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

haha all 3 reviews give it the same rating.

so much for differing opinions.

(yours is the best though imo)This Message Edited On 11.27.06

wrathi
November 27th 2006



58 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

nice nice, probably better than mine, but still check it out. I like the way you quoted members of the band which made it more interesting.


NortherlyNanook
November 27th 2006



1285 Comments


haha all 3 reviews give it the same rating.

so much for differing opinions.

Yeah. I was going to point out how the average rating is 3.5 as well, but it appears to only be from the three reviewers...

Must be an easy thing to rate...

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
November 27th 2006



16083 Comments


I really wish people would just wait until the American release date like they're supposed to...(not directed at you Flawed).
I dont like this album much at all. I really hoped I would, but other than Paper Shoes I really cant get into much on the album.

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
November 27th 2006



2806 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah I was planning on waiting but then the other ones went out so I said what the hell I'll put it out.

Kage
November 27th 2006



1173 Comments


Wow, straight 3.5's.

The Jungler
November 27th 2006



4827 Comments


I decided to read this cause I generally agree with you on music. This band is bad, they just aren't too great either (I haven't listened to a whole album though). Anna Molly is a pretty good track from what I've heard.

EDIT: Good review tooThis Message Edited On 11.27.06

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
November 27th 2006



2806 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I have a bit of a soft spot for Incubus. I love Brandon's voice and I think Ben Kenney is one of the best bassists in the mainstream world right now. They make catchy and accessible music at a level above most other bands. I respect them for that.

riobravo1023
November 27th 2006



274 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The 3 that I've heard (Love Hurts, Dig, Anna Molly) seem to be the only ones on the album that people like. I was hoping for something extremely good, but from what I'm hearing I'm going to be slightly let down.

Hopefully everyone else is wrong though.

steadyeddie
November 27th 2006



159 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yea, good review, pretty much exactly how I feel about Light Grenades. I've been waiting a couple of days for someone to review it, to see if it was just me who felt the album was good, but some songs were just lacking. musically, Dig and Love Hurts are cool, but there's something that's stopping me from reaaally loving them. I don't know, maybe it's because the lyrics sound a bit cheesy (from boyd, who's lyrics are usually pretty cool I think). it might be my own fault, I was expecting so much. i think its oil and water and diamonds and coal that drag this album down for me too. oh well, as daylight dies rocks pretty hard

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
November 27th 2006



2806 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I don't really get what everyone likes about Love Hurts. It's ok, but there's a lot better songs on the album.

rustysurf84
November 27th 2006



327 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hm, I find Dig to be annoying, and the lyrics to be comically simple, espcially the first verse or so. I also like Oil and Water, but I can see why they could annoy, or turn off listeners. The opening paragraph pretty much summed up my feelings, so I guess I won't bothering with a review of this. Great review.

I'd recommend The Earth To Bella's over Light Grenades, but hey, your review, not mine.

jason_f90
November 27th 2006



203 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

'Anna Molly' and 'Love Hurts' are my favourites on the album mainly because they don't sound rushed or messy like some of the other songs such as 'A Kiss To Send Us Off'.

SkaSenanake
November 27th 2006



34 Comments


I really like this cd. the band went in an opposite experimental route and slowed down their songs a bit. bravo to a band who can make 6 consistant different cds. great review as well.

ZFighter142
November 27th 2006



205 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i love this album, so awesome. my favorite song is Dig.

LightGrenade
November 28th 2006



1 Comments


Incubus is an amazing band. With each album they evolve and experiement with different styles and genres. Its their fusion of different styles that makes them so unique.

The thing I admire most about each of their albums, is that its a guess to what the next track will sound like. I love the fact they hop around the place, its what made me love em in the first place.

Favourate tracks:
Dig
Rogues
Pendulous Threads
Quicksand
Paper Shoes

Who knows what incubus will bring out next and thats why i love em.

incubotic
November 28th 2006



78 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah good review, seems like everyone has fairly similar opinions on this album. For me the best tracks are-

Anna Molly
Love Hurts
A Kiss To Send Us Off
Dig
Rogues
Pendulous Threads
and Quicksand is ok as an opener

Unfortunatly the rest is pretty average for me. Check out my review too, I didnt expect 2 more to come along so quick...This Message Edited On 11.28.06

foreverendeared
November 28th 2006



14678 Comments


hmmm good review except you contradict yourself on the closing paragraph. you say "Incubus has continued to make consistent and great releases" yet earlier you kinda bashed A Crow Left of Murder for it's "inconsistency." best review of the three though

hummer
November 28th 2006



228 Comments


Anna Molly is a very very good song. And thanks to this review, I will be checking out the rest of the album



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy