Collection Review: Incubus – Make Yourself (Album)

Incubus are a band that are ever so slightly out of my comfort zone; please note, the next few lines are going to sound incredibly pretentious. They’re out of my comfort zone, due to the fact that they’re a mainstream American rock-band. I’ve listened to a few bands like this in the past like: 3 Doors Down, Lifehouse and The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, but it’s usually a genre I don’t tend to explore. Feel free to ostracize me, but that’s just the way things are. From the tunes I have heard though, they sound comparable, in a few ways, to one of my favorite bands: Failure. Expect fan-girling in the future when they release a new album, since they got back together last year and that gave me such pleasure, I had to take a few deep breathes.

That being said, I will honor the mighty music player shuffle and give it a go. Without further delay, let’s listen to Make Yourself.

Make-Yourself-Incubus-cover

Initial impressions don’t exactly impress me with a combination of disc scratches and a groove like Red Hot Chilli Peppers, but the scratches do more to annoy than to add to overall sound. However, I think it’s easy enough to forgive them when I hear Clean.

Thankfully, Clean levels the battlefield with a mission Impossible like intro that dances you around a very typical hard-rock song. Despite it not doing much to change the rock genre, it also doesn’t do anything to offend it. Consequence, is a more measured track with a clean verse and some nasty distortion for all the thick bits. However, again, the scratching feels invasive of the rock experience. That doesn’t stop the track from getting a rather simple post-grunge feel to it. Which is nice.

Hello Drive, it’s been a few months. Drive sticks to the guns that have made Incubus so prosperous as a rock-band, it also manages to not make the scratches sound invasive, but instead, they sound like a layer to the sound. It’s obvious when you listen to the song, that it’s one of the ones that was recorded to flagship the album with superior production, extra instruments and massive acclaim. The phaser solo is dandy too. Reminds me of a quiet Failure song. With Drive out of the way, I can experience the rest of the album, which I’ve never heard before, fully without too much pre-disposition.

I Miss You, feels like the albums improved moment of peace. After listening to it a few times, I’ve started to enjoy it, more so, over Drive. Why? I believe it sounds smoother, nicer and in general, just feels better than Drive, but what do I know? The video is strange though, not really digging on the topless singer.

Nowhere Fast, retains that post-grunge sound that seems to be so prevalent among late 90s American rock bands. Including heavy effects driven guitars, angry gentlemen shouting at the poor mic, followed by wee quiet breakdowns. Just to rest those distortion pedals and mics.  Even having a sound that I usually enjoy, the majority of Incubus’ Make Yourself just seems to past me by without any real interest. The heavier moments in this album; the shouts from Out From Under and the fun instrumentation of Privilege let the listener know that there is a remarkable band  under here somewhere.

For me though, Incubus are just a little bit too vanilla (insert more pretentious bullshit) and lack any real appeal. Aside from a few tracks.

Do we keep it in the collection?

We keep a few tracks…

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