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Best New Music: Incubus Return with Varied Styles on Solid New Album, ‘8’

Written by: Rock Cellar Magazine Staff

Southern California alt/rockers Incubus have returned. Today, April 21, their new studio effort, 8, is released via Island Records. Guitarist/co-songwriter Mike Einziger told us a lot about the album’s conception in our exclusive April cover story, so click here to read that if you’re interested.

The band’s first full-length LP in six years, following 2011’s If Not Now, When?, was led by the lead single “Nimble Bastard” – and its amazing music video. The song, which begins with vocalist Brandon Boyd asking, “Has it come to this?”, was a welcomed return to some more high-energy and guitar-driven rock (a direction the band shifted away from on If Not Now, When?).

And as a whole, 8 boasts more than a few songs that should appeal to longtime fans of the band’s radio singles, including “Wish You Were Here,” “Warning,” “Anna Molly” and the like. Specifically, the opening track, “No Fun,” with its aggressive riff and hook — which serves as a strong introductory statement to the music on the album. Other tracks, like the infectious “State of the Art,” the haunting “Loneliest,” not to mention “Love in a Time of Surveillance” and the album’s final track, “Throw Out the Map,” find Boyd, Einziger and colleagues Jose Pasillas, Ben Kenney, and DJ Kilmore (as well as co-producer Skrillex) reinvigorated, songwriting-wise, making 8 a pretty stellar (pun intended) addition to the band’s versatile catalog of music.

Left to right: DJ Kilmore, Brandon Boyd, Jose Pasillas, Mike Einziger, and Ben Kenney. Photo: Brantley Gutierrez

And by ‘versatile,’ we mean it. After all, Incubus began as a group of Calabasas, California high schoolers with a knack for funk/metal and saw their sound develop over the years to where it is today — and while they’re almost 20 years removed from the crossover appeal of 2000’s massive hit “Drive,” the music on this new record definitely drives the point home that they still have a lot to say musically.

Catch the band on the road this summer to hear a mix of old and new, and be sure to listen to the new album below via Spotify.

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