Incubus
S.C.I.E.N.C.E.


4.0
excellent

Review

by Mike Allen USER (107 Reviews)
January 1st, 2010 | 22 replies


Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "I know exactly where we are...where the fuck are we?!"

Incubus’ debut “Fungus Amongus,” was an interesting and somewhat groundbreaking release, infusing elements of several different musical genres together to create something very unusual. At the time, it appeared that Incubus was attempting to find themselves by combining these genres, and came off as a fascinating and ambitious band. Despite its extraordinary structure, the 1995 record was flawed by raw production, an absence of variety, and a few messy tracks. Incubus seemed to have responded well to the mixed acclaim of “Fungus Amongus,” for their follow-up “S.C.I.E.N.C.E.” is a much more cohesive record that is superior in almost every way. With “S.C.I.E.N.C.E.” Incubus had become even more innovative, allowing effects and turntablist DJ Lyfe to take on a much larger role. The turntables are a major focal point for the band’s music to this day, and are still one of the factors that separate Incubus from the rest of the rock community.

“S.C.I.E.N.C.E.” makes much more of a bold statement than its predecessor; it is less funky and heavier, and rarely ceases to lose its sheer brutality. From the beginning of the album this becomes apparent, for Redefine features thundering bass and a lethally distorted guitar riff. Not unlike on “Fungus Amongus,” Dirk Lance’s staggering bass work serves as the foundation and possibly the underscore of the record, with his solo in Redefine providing further evidence of this. Lance is still presenting the band’s sound with a great deal of funk, even if this is true to a lesser extent than the debut. The album still has its share of grooving tracks, with both Summer Romance and Deep Inside following this formula. The former is the record’s lone ballad, and is tastefully and delicately developed in such a way that it gives off a spacey vibe. This song in particular features some of Brandon’s best vocals and a surprise appearance of a saxophone in the solo section. “S.C.I.E.N.C.E.” doesn’t fail to throw at the listener non-conventional music, with Deep Inside being one of the record’s most intriguing tracks. Deep Inside seems as though it would be more fitting on “Fungus Amongus,” but is superior to nearly every song on that release. The verses are groovy as hell and build to a completely unpredictable chorus with Brandon mindlessly screaming as he is complemented by heavily distorted guitar. Deep Inside is propelled by several different changes, and includes a bit of comic relief with Brandon saying, “I know exactly where we are…where the *** are we?” as Mike proceeds to wail on his guitar. The listener is even introduced to congo drumming in Vitamin, just another indication of the band’s innovative style.

The record as a whole is quite chaotic, but in a much more organized and well developed way than “Fungus Amongus.” New Skin is quite hectic, in such a way that it makes you feel as though you need to jump around the room like a mad person. A Certain Shade of Green has a similar effect, riding an ultra-heavy riff at a backbreaking pace. Brandon is not afraid to display his aggressive and merely ruthless vocal style throughout these tracks; screaming and complementing the ridiculous tempo with great virtuosity. Even in a more laid-back atmosphere such as in Idiot Box, Brandon is subtly firing out his vocals at a frenzied pace when necessary, and powerful at other instances. What is deciphered from all this is a front man that seems to have both a great deal of talent and a character, which are two characteristics notable with most tremendous rock bands.

As inconceivable as “S.C.I.E.N.C.E.” is, the band had not developed completely and matured as songwriters, something that would be addressed in Incubus’ upcoming albums. This particular release is varied more than its predecessor, but not to an extent at which the record appears entirely diverse. Redefine, A Certain Shade of Green, Vitamin, New Skin, and several others are very similarly structured tunes, exposing a weakness in the album. With a few more tracks presenting a different vibe such as Deep Inside or Summer Romance, “S.C.I.E.N.C.E.” could very well be in superb or even classic territory, but for it’s worth is still excellent. Many will claim that Incubus had reached their peak here, but descendants “Make Yourself,” and “Morning View” prove to be more mature (even though commercial) releases.

Recommended Tracks:
New Skin
Idiot Box
A Certain Shade of Green
Summer Romance
Deep Inside



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user ratings (1556)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
EVedder27
January 1st 2010


6088 Comments


Installment #2 of the discography. Probably don't like this as much as a lot of you, but the album is really really good. Will be taking a quick break from the discography to do my 50th review, and then will continue with Make Yourself.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
January 1st 2010


31620 Comments


I'd still argue that this was their creative peak, lovely review though. Pos'd.

Digging: Theo Parrish - American Intelligence

EVedder27
January 1st 2010


6088 Comments


Thanks man, and I don't completely disagree with you on that, although Make Yourself and Morning View are creative in a different way. The lack of diversity is what gets me on this though.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
January 1st 2010


31620 Comments


See I think the opposite, I think there was a ton of diversity on this album, it just needed to be spread out some more imo.

WatchItExplode
January 1st 2010


3314 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

here you'll find a young girl giggling at a hippopotamus...I wonder why? pos'd

EVedder27
January 1st 2010


6088 Comments


Thanks dude. Also Deviant that is an interesting point. Maybe a different tracklisting would have proved to be better for the album.

renegadestrings
January 1st 2010


1469 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i used to worship this album; pretty much was the theme of my sophomore year in college when everything in my life was nuts.
great review, Deep Inside might be my favorite track though Redefine is definitely up there too

BSX
January 1st 2010


1636 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The record as a whole is quite chaotic

Just how I like it

Digging: Nicki Minaj - The Pinkprint

wakeupdead
January 2nd 2010


2208 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Incubus' finest album. Glass is a fantastic song, and the long experimental thing after Calgone is interesting as faack

Titan50
January 2nd 2010


4588 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Only just recently got this, despite being an Incubus fan for quite a while. Living up to the hype for now

Chewie
January 2nd 2010


4533 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

in terms of instrumental prowess, this>>>>anything else they have.

Chewie
January 2nd 2010


4533 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

by the way this review is great, you describe the sound very well. I don't understand this bit at all though;

The record as a whole is quite chaotic, but in a much more organized and well developed way than “Fungus Amongus.”


EVedder27
January 2nd 2010


6088 Comments


What I meant by that is "Fungus Amongus" comes off as structurally messy at some points, and "S.C.I.E.N.C.E" is put together in a more sound manner.

Chewie
January 2nd 2010


4533 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

k then say that in the review.

timbo8
January 2nd 2010


618 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great album

Willie
Moderator
January 5th 2010


16149 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'd still argue that this was their creative peak
Easily. After that they went down hill.

Digging: Mors Principium Est - Dawn Of The 5th Era

Nagrarok
January 5th 2010


8316 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Loving that chaos on this.

BrahTheSunGod
January 5th 2010


1279 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hahaha summary ftw. Damn this is a good album.

EVedder27
January 5th 2010


6088 Comments


Yeah I thought the summary was a perfect fit for the album.

Nagrarok
June 12th 2010


8316 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This has gotten better aften more listens. I can't believe you didn't rec Redefine Mike, it's the best song on the album.



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