Rock band Incubus confronts past, releases futuristic EP

Published on Headbang ‘n Buttonmash.com

Following up their February single “Absolution Calling” with the March release “Trust Fall”, Incubus is finding their center–spiritually it seems.

A lot of bands are changing their sound this year, take Linkin Park or the Foo Fighters for instance. Linkin Park completed revamped their style to fit into the mold of most radio stations, incorporating dubstep bass beats and auto-tuned vocals. Foo Fighters has mellowed out, using simple lyrics so that even a 5-year-old can follow along.

Incubus, on the other hand, has found a hidden place in the middle where they haven’t had to give up their rock ‘n roll core, yet they’ve still managed to add some dance-worthy rhythm to their sound.

Incubus is due to release two EPs this year, after a brief hiatus the Oakland Press reports, both coming out of a new label contract with Island Records. Two new songs have been released on Spotify, “Absolution Calling” and “Trust Fall”.

If you take a listen to Incubus’s February single, “Absolution Calling”, you might think the title alone is a dead giveaway alluding to a renewed sense of spirituality. “Trust Fall” could be a reference to that life-and-death situation of relying on your band mates to stick with you through fame, obscurity, and all that’s in between.

To bring things into perspective, the overarching message to these new songs seems to be a matter of confronting your past and conforming to the future demands of the music industry. With an intro that takes us down the internet rabbit hole ventured first by digital pioneers Daft Punk for the Tron soundtrack, the bass line is still reminiscent of Joy Division‘s “Dead Souls” (Nine Inch Nails covered the song for The Crow) and we can instantly hear a collision of old and new influences combined in fluent symmetry through the vessel of Incubus.

In the video, there’s a scene in an arcade where 20-somethings are prompted to leave their games and join a gang of scooter chicks and biker guys in a dance off in a back alley set. Ultimately the band members stand face-to-face with their alternate selves (one from the past, one from the present) then dissipate into digital beams of light in the end.

I’m pleasantly surprised to see Chris Kilmore has traded his trademark turntable for an electronic keyboard in “Absolution Calling”, changing up his famed “Battlestar Scratchlactica” style to a more subdued “Megalomaniac” flow of key progression.

Then there is “Trust Fall”, the single released this month. This track is so clean; it’s all vocals and bass, hearkening back to the band’s old-school acoustic “Drive” sound, mixed with a spicy hint of Red Hot Chili Peppers‘ melancholy “Scar Tissue” guitar licks and a dash of the ruthlessly echoing vocals of Serj Tankian from System of a Down in the bridge.

Brandon Boyd’s lyrics for this one are a little contradictory, and the climax occurs at the very end of the song as he mentions “the divide” is “an illusion”, that all living organisms are in fact connected. Perhaps the second EP to debut this year (Side B) will evoke similar feelings of spirituality.

You can find “Absolution Calling” and “Trust Fall” available through iTunes, Google Play, or purchase a vinyl copy on the official Incubus website.

(Featured photo credit: Julian Schratter via Tumblr)

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