INCUBUS (CA) — Trust Fall (Side A) (review)

INCUBUS (CA) — Trust Fall (Side A) album cover EP · 2015 · Heavy Alternative Rock Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
Love them or hate them, Incubus have never made the same album twice. Despite their last few studio albums being a bit on the lackluster side, the overall evolution of Incubus' sound is one of their most fascinating elements. Even then, it seems as though many fans have been a bit displeased with the general lack of distortion and aggression from A Crow Left the Murder... onward. In exploring different sounds and styles, much of the alternative metal and general intensity of previous albums was dropped; this path was continued up until what many considered to be the band's worst record, If Not Now, When? The vibe of the music was considered just as wild and imaginative as Muzak, and the overall consensus was that Incubus had lost their way. Well, if a new little EP known as Trust Fall (Part A) is any indication, then I think these guys are back on the right path again.

It's hard to judge how the band's future material may be from a mere 4-song collection such as this, but this first installment of Trust Fall features some of the best writing and playing the band have pulled off in years. Right from the heavy and precise riffing of the opening title track, it's clear that some of the older Incubus sound is being captured here. The musicianship is tight, crisp, and full of energy and life; additionally, Brandon Boyd's vocals are much more inspired here than on If Not Now, When? and his level of investment in these tunes makes everything quite engaging as a whole. But, as is Incubus' tradition, there are some neat experiments that the band try on for size here. My personal favorite has to be the midtempo electronic rock number "Absolution Calling," which is characterized more by its deep sonic layers courtesy of DJ Chris Kilmore and guitarist Mike Einziger. Brandon's harmonized vocals are really a highlight here, especially when he sings "Are you there?" in the chorus. Then there's "Dance Like You're Dumb" which benefits more from Mike's heavier guitar tone and a high level of energy in the rhythm section. The track is pretty much just as the title implies, being a party rocker that can very easily be danced to; Boyd's vocals display an great amount of energy and power, and drummer Jose Pasillas and bassist Ben Kenney constantly keep up with the song's overall vibe.

Unfortunately, we've also got the much weaker number "Make Out Party." The instrumental work is still solid and well-crafted here, and it's nice to hear a song this heavy by the band again, but Boyd's lyrics and vocals just sink this one. His singing is obnoxious during the falsetto moments (which are unfortunately way too frequent) and the lyricism is incredibly juvenile and poorly implemented into the tone the music creates. It's just so weird hearing lyrics like "Girl I wanna kiss you, but not just on your lips" accompanying a very doomy and distorted riff like the one Einziger creates here. However, it's the only song that's not that strong on this EP; everything else on Trust Fall (Side A) is well worth the listen, whether you're a longtime fan or just getting into these guys. I can't say this record is an essential gem in the band's discography, seeing as it's only 4 tracks long, but it does make me confident that their future output could be quite strong. THAT's something I can trust them with.

(Originally published on Sputnikmusic)
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Necrotica wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Hellyeah, SCIENCE is right up there with Primus and early Red Hot Chili Peppers when it comes to great funk metal.
Unitron wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Same here, 'Take Me to Your Leader' and 'S.C.I.E.N.C.E.' are both great. Some of the best funk metal I've heard right there.
Necrotica wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Yeah, there are a few decent songs from their later work like that. But I've gotta admit, I'm a sucker for those heavy alt metal riffs of their earlier stuff :P
Unitron wrote:
more than 2 years ago
'Morning View' is awesome too, definitely my second favorite. The only song from 'If Not Now, When?' that I really like is 'In the Company of Wolves', it kind of has a Pink Floyd feel to it. :)
Necrotica wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Thanks! Yeah, If Not Now, When? was pretty bad. To me, Morning View is their best; I see it as the album that merged all of Incubus' past and future musical elements perfectly. Plus, the atmosphere is so serene. :)
Unitron wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Good review, I found this EP okay but it was certainly better then their last album. 'A Crow Left of the Murder' is their masterpiece imo.

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