Brandon Boyd - Vocals
Mike Einziger - Guitar
Dirk Lance - Bass
José Pasillas - Drums
Gavin Koppel (Dj Lyfe) - Turntables
Released: 1997 (Sony)
A Certain Shade of Green
After releasing 'Fungus Amongus' in 1995 and 'Enjoy Incubus' earlier in 1997 Incubus hit the studio with a major label to record their first full length album. An album which still stands different to all their others. Inspired with elements of funk, rock and hip-hop this was a nu-metal album which showed the other nu-metal bands how to intergrate genres. This is by far the fastest Incubus album and one of the best.
You could be forgiven for thinking this could be a Limp Bizkit or Linkin Park album at the begining of the first track 'Redefine'. The constant scratching of the word 'Go' along with the distorted guitars gives it that sound. Brandons vocals kick in and give the song it's unique sound and the rhythm is very swingy and by then you know it's different. The song is pretty good and it's a good opener for the album. The only bad thing is the overscratching of the DJ. A DJ should always be used in moderation but on this album it just seems like the turntables are much to overused.
'Vitamin' starts with a spiraling guitar and Brandons vocals very quietly over it. The bass and drums kick in and the volume builds. Then your straight into the song. It's a good intro. The verses sound great with good vocals by Brandon then the chorus is a trademark catchy and powerful chorus. The musicianship on this song is really good. The guitar sounds are really awesome sounding in the verse and the turntables are used effectively.
Brandon busts out some bongos for 'New Skin' and the intro sounds great guitar chord then bongo ryhthm. Suddenly bang everything kicks in. The verse of this song is great. The song is pretty fast and Brandon has such a unique vocal style on this song. The bridge of the song is really well done and the chorus is another catchy chorus.
'Idiot Box' is a little slower. The bass playing on this song is a highlight. Dirk is at his best on this album. The mixing on this song is done well as Brandons vocals really work with the vocals. It's a good song but a little weaker than the previous songs. The lyrics are pretty well written here aswell.
I think the next song 'Glass' is written about Dirk and gives a bit of insight into why he left the band recently. The guitar effects are really cool on this song and Incubus pull it off really well live. The bass playing is great and Brandons vocals and lyrics are the best they've been so far on the album. Brandon has a really funky style of singing on this song. It goes in a swinging style in the verses, to a rushed talking in the pre-chorus to full out singing in the chorus. A standout song.
The next track 'Magic Medicine' is a turntablist track. It doesn't have vocals it's just a jam of Dirk, Lyfe, Mike and Jose. Doesn't really appeal to me this song and I find it a bit boring. It doesn't seem to have much direction and it sounds to repititive. The weakest part of the album.
The albums best song is next. 'A Certain Shade Of Green'. The pace is furious, the distortion is on full and Brandons vocals are bloody great. The bass playing of Dirk is incredible and the DJ gets the scratching just right on the song. The chorus is incredibly powerfull and just blasts out at you. It's a song that makes you want to get out of your seat and sing along with it. By far the albums best song.
'Favorite Things' comes next. The guitar effects are really good on this song. The guitar changes it's tone many times but always sounds intresting. Brandon sings pretty well. The chorus has a very unique style to it. Just doesn't have a huge X Factor.
The albums slowest song 'Summer Romance (Anti-Gravity Love Song) comes next. It's got a very laid back feel and seems a bit reminisent of 'Are You In' from 'Morning View'. The singing works really well and it does have a summer feel. The chorus is great. It shows Incubus don't need distortion and effects in every song to make them great. It's a very welcome break from the albums blistering pace.
'Nebula' is full of suprises. It kicks off straight into a verse with Brandons singing and it's not super fast but it's at a speedy tempo. Then it explodes with Brandon screaming suddenly it changes to Brandon whispering then it slows down to half the pace with Brandon singing. The changes are so unexpected and the first time it hits you this song makes you go 'Wow'. It's well written lyrically and the variations in the chorus make the song brilliant. It stands out as one the best on the album.
We are aproaching the end of the album and we get 'Deep Inside'. It's another laid back song with a bit of a funky feel. It's slower and more melodic. Got a very swingy feel. Like 'Nebula' there's some unpredictability in the song. It goes from melodic to hardcore in just a few second then it's back to melody. Not the best song but still good.
Finally it's 'Calgone' to end the album. Starts with a very mysterious feel. Lots of odd sounds along with the guitar and a sweeping vocal make it feel very strange. The bass kicks in (And it's a very cool bass riff) it all builds up then bang. It's full speed and the chorus is a killer one. Brandon is signing at 1000 words per minute. The verse doesn't slow the pace down one bit. Then it's back to the chorus which is more melodic this time and the next verse is a little more melodic to though it doesn't slow down. Then it gets to the end of the song and it is literally 10 minutes of crap. Just ambient noise and unlike with other artists it's very boring.
Overall S.C.I.E.N.C.E. is a album of fast paced funk metal. There's some really standout songs along with a few blander songs. It's an album any fan of the modern Incubus should give a listen. This album is definetly worth your money though. Being old you should be able to pick it up pretty cheaply at any music store and it's still as good an album today as it was 6 years ago.
Rating: 4/5 :thumb: