Incubus
8


2.5
average

Review

by Green Baron USER (159 Reviews)
April 21st, 2017 | 16 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A swing and a miss.

“I’m not dead yet!”

Such goes the chorus of “Undefeated”, the fifth track on Incubus’ oh-so-cleverly titled eighth album 8. Judging from these songs, frontman Brandon Boyd is either delusional or a shameless liar. When it came out in 2011, If Not Now, When" could easily have been seen as a mishap, an accidental foray into safe, midtempo alt-rock that was nothing more than a one-time mistake. With the release of 8, Incubus have precisely confirmed that this is the new them, a hollow, empty clone of what they once were, and it’s painful to say that about one of the premier alternative artists of their time, a band that redefined the boundaries of their genre and dropped a slew of quality records at the turn of the century.

So, yes, Incubus is dead, and the carcass remaining is not a particularly appealing one. 8 is by no means a terrible album, but it is one that is utterly devoid of energy, rocking instrumental work and quality vocal performances; in other words, the qualities that made Incubus Incubus. Surprisingly enough, the album was mixed and produced by none other than Skrillex himself, and for a man so well known for his work in the electronic music field, there’s few traces of his sound. He is, however, responsible for altering the record’s drum tone, a grave mistake that notably hampers 8. For comparison’s sake, take the original version of lead single “Nimble Bastard” and compare it to the Skrillexed-up album variant. José Pasillas has proven himself to a perfectly capable drummer, but he is done no favors by the mixing, which ensures that the percussive sound is a drawback.

Above everything, the biggest crime that 8 is guilty of is being flat-out boring. “State of the Art” takes the dullness of “Promises, Promises” and removes any of the sentimentality that made it at least somewhat listenable, while “Loneliest” is the most obvious example of Skrillex’s influence, sporting a generic electronic drumbeat over inane repetitions of “I’m the loneliest I’ve ever been tonight”. Boyd’s vocals are shot, and it’s difficult to listen to him strain his voice to reach notes he used to easily. Perhaps it’s the years of wear-and-tear finally catching up to him. Even when the band tries to reclaim the energy of their prime, the end product is something like opener “No Fun”, whose chorus howls “You’re no fun! You’re a song I never want to hear again!” The jokes write themselves, guys.

There are several tracks that epitomize the definition of “Incubus on autopilot”, yet it’s these tracks that stand above the rest of 8, tracks like “Nimble Bastard” and “Glitterbomb” that earn repeat listens. 8 is saved entirely by the strength of its final three tracks - “Love in a Time of Surveillance” gets off to a slow start but cranks up to a fiery ending with guitarist Mike Einziger’s Morelloesque performance. “Make No Sound in the Digital Forest” is a pleasant instrumental that features quality musicianship, while closer “Throw Out the Map” is a nice throwback to the days when Incubus rocked. It’s plausible that the tracklisting was arranged to reward slogging through all the mediocrity to reach the vaunted ending, but is the struggle really worth it"



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user ratings (184)
Chart.
2.3
average
other reviews of this album
Insurrection CONTRIBUTOR (2)
The sound of a tired band going through the motions....

Rowan5215 STAFF (0.5)
Review....

LethalPaintball (2)
Does Incubus even want to be Incubus anymore?...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Green Baron
April 21st 2017


24102 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

so I can't promise that I'll review more commonly but here's this for now

Divaman
April 21st 2017


1522 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Good review. Pos.

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Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
April 21st 2017


39402 Comments

Album Rating: 0.5

good review man, seems we had the same thoughts about State of the Art re: Promises Promises lol

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flamescranes5870
April 21st 2017


33 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

I can't imagine I'll give this higher than a 2.5 or 3.0 when I listen to it. Their second, third, and fourth albums were a legendary trio, and this album just seems to prove they're falling further from grace.

SowingSeason
Moderator
April 22nd 2017


25033 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Good review, glad to see you back on the horse. I tend to agree more with this than Row's review actually, but both are well-written.

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NorwichScene
April 22nd 2017


2363 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I had no idea Skrillex did some work on this album until he tweeted it yesterday

tellah
April 22nd 2017


549 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

is this actually that bad or is everyone overhating because it's not Morning View or something

onionbubs
April 22nd 2017


6778 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

i am a die hard fan of this band and idc what they make im open minded to whatever they do. i didnt like if not now when much but i thought it was just a failed experiment to make a more mellow pop oriented album and it was just a misstep



i hated pretty much every second of this thing

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SweeneyTodd
April 22nd 2017


1456 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Chino was in the studio with them during recording, was hoping he'd have been involved in the making of the album

Digging: Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch - Blade Runner 2049

Dylan620
April 22nd 2017


3714 Comments


Chindon Boyeno and the Incutones would have been interesting

Digging: Death Cab for Cutie - Transatlanticism

Green Baron
April 22nd 2017


24102 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

the whole time I thought Skrillex was gonna be featured on a song

onionbubs
April 22nd 2017


6778 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

i thought so too. i read that somewhere that he was gonna be featured on a song with chino



i guess brino boydreno and the incutones will never see the light of day

Green Baron
April 22nd 2017


24102 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

unless it's on the next Deftones album

teamster
April 23rd 2017


2027 Comments


Fantastic write up. Pos'd.

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butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
April 23rd 2017


5646 Comments


pos'd, this is great.. also, onionbubs, i'd pos you just for incutones..

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AlexMichels
April 23rd 2017


16 Comments


better than the staff review of this big time. pos'd hard



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