Funk Metal

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funk metal top albums

Showing only albums and EPs | Based on members ratings & MMA custom algorithm | 60 min. caching

INCUBUS (CA) S.C.I.E.N.C.E. Album Cover S.C.I.E.N.C.E.
INCUBUS (CA)
4.58 | 7 ratings
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EXTREME Extreme II: Pornograffitti Album Cover Extreme II: Pornograffitti
EXTREME
4.17 | 27 ratings
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PRIMUS Sailing the Seas of Cheese Album Cover Sailing the Seas of Cheese
PRIMUS
4.09 | 22 ratings
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PRIMUS Frizzle Fry Album Cover Frizzle Fry
PRIMUS
4.01 | 23 ratings
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FAITH NO MORE The Real Thing Album Cover The Real Thing
FAITH NO MORE
3.94 | 70 ratings
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PRIMUS Animals Should Not Try to Act Like People Album Cover Animals Should Not Try to Act Like People
PRIMUS
3.99 | 9 ratings
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LIVING COLOUR Stain Album Cover Stain
LIVING COLOUR
3.99 | 7 ratings
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PRIMUS Tales From the Punchbowl Album Cover Tales From the Punchbowl
PRIMUS
3.89 | 17 ratings
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LIVING COLOUR Time's Up Album Cover Time's Up
LIVING COLOUR
3.92 | 9 ratings
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PRIMUS The Brown Album Album Cover The Brown Album
PRIMUS
3.71 | 10 ratings
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INCUBUS (CA) S.C.I.E.N.C.E.

Album · 1997 · Funk Metal
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Unitron
While Incubus gained a huge surge of popularity with the release of their 1999 album, Make Yourself, the band already had two EP's and two studio albums under their belt before they reached alternative rock stardom. However, if you're getting into these early releases from the band, don't expect it to sound anything like what the band is mostly known for. This is eclectic funk metal at it's finest.

Along with the equally amazing Enjoy Incubus EP from the same year, S.C.I.E.N.C.E. is, simply put, an explosion of creativity. For starters, there's an incredibly wide range of styles here. It ranges from many styles of metal, funk, hip-hop, lounge, and even a bit of trip-hop. All of these styles are blended seamlessly, always sounding like they naturally belong together. Each song stands out perfectly on its own, even if it's just with a little unique embellishment. An example of this is the slight middle-eastern influences on the opening track "Redefine".

Each musician is in absolute top form, delivering one of the best albums of the 90's. Brandon Boyd gives one of his best vocal performances on this album, especially on "Glass", "Nebula", "Deep Inside", and "Calgone". Dirk Lance earns his place among the bass gods on this album, and S.C.I.E.N.C.E. is one of the best bass albums out there. Listen to any song on the album, and you'll get some of the tastiest and funkiest bass licks available. "Glass" of course has some of the best, as does the smooth "Deep Inside". Jose Pasillas II absolutely slays on drums, displaying insane amounts of syncopation. Mike Einziger is a riff making machine, even bringing in some hooks that edge pretty close to thrash on songs like "Favorite Things" and "Calgone". Finally last, but not least, is Gavin Koppell. While some may find the turntables annoying, his electronic embellishments and turntables add a lot to the uniqueness of the album.

It's almost impossible to pick highlights due to how the album has a perfect flow and every song could be called a highlight. What I can say, is that "Glass" is probably my favorite Incubus song. "Summer Romance (Anti-Gravity Love Song)" is probably the song that stands out the most in style, as it takes a break from the metal, taking on a lounge-funk sound that is catchy as hell. "New Skin", which was originally seen on the Let Me Tell Ya 'Bout Root Beer EP from 1995, is incredibly catchy as well. The only slightly weaker moment on the album is "Magic Medicine", but even that song works within context of the whole album.

The lyrics and even the title showcase the same boom of creativity. At first the lyrics seem absurdist, after all, what else would you expect from and album title that's an acronym for Sailing Catamarans Is Every Nautical Captain's Ecstasy? However, once you look into them more, some of them can be interpreted as clever metaphors. Going back to the opening track of "Redefine", there's lyrics such as "Imagine your brain as a canister filled with ink", which don't make much sense until lines like "I'm sick of painting in black and white" come in. Even if the lyrics don't make any sense, you will still find yourself singing along anyways. Best examples for me are "Glass" and "A Certain Shade of Green". "Deep Inside" very well may have one of the greatest lines in music history, with "I know exactly where we are...the fuck are we?".

This is an album that takes multiple listens to fully sink in, and I'm still noticing different things every time I listen. Once it does sink in, this is one of the best and most eclectic funk metal albums. While Incubus would make a couple more fantastic albums later, this is a one-of-a-kind that should be essential listening for any bass and funk fan. One of my all time favorite albums. Hope you found this review helpful, feel free to comment!

FAITH NO MORE Introduce Yourself

Album · 1987 · Funk Metal
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Warthur
After the stylistic variety of their debut, We Care a Lot, Faith No More got to record this album with tighter production values. The end result is a substantially less varied and experimental release, the band focusing instead on the funk metal style that they'd flirted with on their first release and producing a pioneering example of that style. Between the title and the inclusion of a superior version of We Care a Lot from the debut, this album seems intended to, if not replace the debut album, at least act as a "new listeners start here" release.

The irony of this is, of course, that this album is actually not that representative of the rest of Faith No More's sound. With their experimental instincts creeping back in on The Real Thing and running riot from Angel Dust onwards, they'd never produce such a straight-down-the-line funk metal release ever again. On top of that, the album's narrow stylistic range ends up hampering it a little here and there - sure, it's a lot of fun, but when it comes to Chuck Moseley's rap-rants a little goes a long way, and the lack of more instrumental tracks means you get a lot of them. It's OK stuff, but I greatly prefer what came before and after this rather too constrained introduction.

FAITH NO MORE We Care A Lot

Album · 1985 · Funk Metal
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Warthur
The key to grasping Faith No More debut's album is the realisation that it's approaching funk metal from an experimental post-punk direction - hence the sneering vocal style of Chuck Mosley, who whilst not the vocal gymnast Mike Patton is certainly isn't the deal-breaker some have made him out to be here. The worst you can say about Chuck's vocals here is that much of the time whilst they don't detract from the music, they don't add much either.

The opening title track got rerecorded on Introduce Yourself, and to be honest that version is superior - indeed, it's a bit of a bad choice of an opening number, since it isn't really representatives of the synthgoth-post-punk-influenced alterna-funk metal that the rest of the album deals in. At its best, the album fuses Chuck's disoriented vocals with a journey into the inner weirdness that, despite appearances, Faith No More were always hiding under the surface - Why Do You Bother? is, I reckon, a bit of a neglected classic on that front.

The album is often cited as giving rap in metal a head start, though as pieces like As the Worm Turns show Chuck's flow isn't that great when assessed from a rap point of view - but what he lacks in flexibility he makes up for with a great sense of atmosphere, pitching his vocals in a way suitable to the song at hand adeptly. Roddy Bottum's keyboards, meanwhile, play a role that's often as important as Jim Martin's lead guitar.

It's not a perfect album, mind - the production has its limitations and some of the tracks, like As the Worm Turns and the title track, are a bit underbaked - but it's much, much better than it's made out to be, especially once you get into the deep cuts.

INCUBUS (CA) Enjoy Incubus

EP · 1997 · Funk Metal
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aglasshouse
The raucous MTV era that started in the early 1980's came to a peak in the 90's, producing some of the most well known radio hits and music groups ever to exist. Alternative music was at it's peak popularity, as not only acts like Beck and Radiohead became much more popular, but grunge also made it's breakout early in the decade with Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, et cetera. But what this "MTV era" produced and promoted more than anything was eclecticism and creativity. Basically, the more interesting you were, the more popular you were (as long as you didn't break into the inoperable avant-garde side of music as that was not exactly greeted with open arms by a TV network).

In the midst of crazy music videos and shocking musical acts came Incubus, making their debut in 1995 with Fungus Amongus. Incubus, for the most part, wasn't anything exactly special in comparison with the rest of the grungy hard rock being aired and getting radio play by the time they arrived. Not only that, Fungus Amongus was an independent record, and didn't see a major label release until 2000, half a decade later. So, the debut didn't do so hot, with zero tracks making the charts whatsoever. Incubus picked up the ball rather fast though, and cranked their dirty funk metal style up a few notches for an early second coming.

Enjoy Incubus, a six-track EP, was released two years after the band's debut and followup two-track EP (Let Me Tell Ya 'Bout Root Beer, the band's first 'professionally' recorded release) in 1997. The intended purpose of Enjoy Incubus is likely to act as a satiation while they worked on their second album, which would start recording subsequent to this EP's release and then released itself later in the year. But it's also likely that this is a testing of the waters for the professional music world by Incubus, as all the tracks are re-recorded tracks picked straight from Fungus Amongus. Although it is debatable whether these versions are superior to their originals, as many prefer an amateurish recording style to a more streamlined one, what is evident is that Enjoy Incubus made up for the wrongs the debut made in several objective areas. It's more dynamic, interesting, and thought-provoking than its predecessor. Not only that but it set in stone an underground cult following that was responsible for sending S.C.I.E.N.C.E., the followup studio album, into a gold certification. It was truly a change of pace for the band- in a good direction.

The main reason Enjoy Incubus is so, well, enjoyable, however, is the music itself. With a simple track list of only six songs, this EP is perhaps the most satisfying and effective release the band ever made. From the parodying cover of a coffee advertisement inviting you to "Enjoy Incubus: the best in hi-fi quality" (which is very representative of 90's quirkiness) to the music, this EP is chalk-full of free-wheeling, creative alternative rock / metal that bounces constantly between a gamut of different themes. The saxophone / brass samples used on 'Azwethinkweiz' especially showcase the sophisticated eclecticism in which Incubus do their work. It is very clear that Incubus is a band that does what they do for fun, evident from the constant audio tidbits at the end of each track that are entirely odd and almost out of place. But this translates extremely well into their music as well, especially in vocalist Brandon Boyd's mess of lyrical writing that acts as scat more than anything actually substantial, the no-holds-barred drum fills of Jose Pasillas II, the slap bass of Dirk Lance, and especially the record scratches by Kid Lyfe, which in particular make this EP extremely surreal and symbolic of the time in which it was released. It also must be noted that the "metal" of "funk metal" is not forgotten in the slightest, but it's not exactly always present at every moment either. In fact metal, although predominant, is used sort of like another outside element that's factored into the beautiful entanglement that this EP is. In other words, it's not an average metal release that has constant crunching almost always present at every given time One second you could be listening to a crisp alt rock drive, the next it bursts into a roaring frenzy of manic riffing. It's a release that keeps you on your toes at all time in a thematic sense, so it's likely to register many listen-throughs to totally grasp a solid knowledge of what it has in store.

My personal opinion is that this EP is the highest point Incubus ever reached, and to a lesser extent their followup album a few months after. Enjoy Incubus represents a changing time for music with music that remains fresh and excellent even after twenty years.

FAITH NO MORE The Real Thing

Album · 1989 · Funk Metal
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Warthur
Faith No More took a gamble letting Mr Bungle frontman Mike Patton take their lead vocalist spot, and it paid off marvellously on The Real Thing. Patton doesn't go weird with it to the extent that he would on most of his other projects, but nor does he appreciably play dumb; he spends the album sticking to a smoothly accessible vocal style, but is able to use it to far more ambitious effect than Faith No More would have been able to contemplate with Chuck Mosley - see Epic for a perfect example. The funk metal style of the Chuck era is still in play here, with the result that this is an adept transitional album, refining the band's earlier style and providing them with the breakthrough they needed to feel confident about following Patton down stranger twists and turns.

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