Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Incubus "Make Yourself" (1999)

Browsing through my collection a record caught my eye, one Ive maybe barely thought of in the last decade. In the midst of Nu-Metals rise Incubus dropped this fine record that brought the healthier traits of its sound to an inviting Alternative Metal style rich in a colorful tone with a plentiful helping of melodies and sing along vocals. It was American rocker's Incubus third full length and one I don't think I gave it enough praise at the time of its release. Its quite remarkable to spin this one again and find the words fresh in my mind, I found myself singing along with Boyd's infectious approach.

With tinges of Pop Rock and Punk Rock they almost come across like an atypical band of the time, however the constant waves of bright and colorful melodic accents give their music an inviting depth. Between the bouncy, heavy guitars that lead the way they drop in to fill the music with a gentle vibrance the distortion guitars don't offer. There's plenty of decent, mosh friendly, Nu Metal riffage, even some vinyl scratching thrown in over the break down moments but its counterpart is what makes the all difference in raising the bar. From a perspective of how this record has aged, its the dropped tuning guitar distortion and DJ scratching that feels tired, but the rest is brimming bright.

Aesthetics aside, where the record really finds itself is in its spirit, message and purpose. In retrospect there's a lot of deep and thoughtful substance to introspect. As the title says, "Make Yourself" and a lot of whats discussed through the lyrics are fantastic for a young person to engage with. Positive, considerate and critical, Boyd's lyrics avoid the teenage angst you might except in favor of strong, rational messages of introspection and using ones mind to think about whats going on. At a couple of moments he needless cuts the mood with some unnecessary swearing which I'm not opposed to but in this case it took the edge of the spirit in favor aggression. Listening back to these lyrics I wonder how much they impacted me as a lot of it feels quite relevant to me now.

Favorite Songs: Privilege, Nowhere Fast, Drive, Battlestar Scralatchtice, Pardon Me
Rating: 8/10