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Science , 6.5/10
Make Yourself , 6/10
Morning View , 5/10
A Crow Left Of The Murder (2004), 5/10
Light Grenades (2006), 4.5/10
If Not Now When (2011), 4/10

Incubus is a quintet Los Angeles led by frontman and vocalist Brandon Boyd that plays a hybrid of hard-rock riffs, hip-hop beats, funk bass lines and post-metal crooning. Rather than taking on their contemporaries Limp Bizkit and Korn, they hark back to the origins of the crossover, to Faith No More, to Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rage Against The Machine and Primus. The EP Fungus Amongus (Epic, 1995) collects unreleased material from their early years. Science (Immortal, 1997) was the showcase for their musical mastery and their brutal hyper-fusion (Magic Medicine, Summer Romance, Nebula). There was nothing on the album that had not been done before, but one could sense a deep feeling of honesty and a sincere spleen.

The much more accessible Make Yourself (Epic, 1999) is remarkably effective in stealing stereotypes of grunge and pop and manufacturing catchy and atmospheric songs like Privilege and Make Yourself. The band is careful not to exaggerate in either direction: the Nirvana-esque monster-riff of Nowhere Fast lasts only a few seconds, soon overrun by a power-ballad (with traces of Steely Dan-esque jazz); The Warmth loosens the tension with a Doors-ian organ and related suspense; Stellar's middle section is straight out of a Police album. Towards the end the band displays whatever originality it has gotten: Drive (their best-seller) is a cute country-rocker in the vein of Crosby Stills & Nash; the guitar plays "coitus interruptus" in Clean, supported by a funky bass; Battlestar Scralatchtica toys with toasting, scratching and hip-hop beats. Incubus' grunge is a music of brains, not muscles.

Wish You Were Here and Blood On The Ground continue the process of re-alignment to the mainstream on Morning View (Epic, 2001), although the album displays a sonic elegance and eclectic dynamics that virtually reinvents the art of heavy-metal. Nice To Know You, Have You Ever and Under My Umbrella are replete with stereotypes but subvert them with every successive note. The experiment fails because of an excess of softness (11 am and Mexico), but is nonetheless unusual.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da Alessandro Cani)

Gli Incubus sono un quintetto di Los Angeles capitanato dal frontman vocalist Brandon Boyd, che suona un ibrido di riffs hard-rock, ritmiche hip-hop, linee di basso funk e cantato post-metal. Piuttosto che adeguarsi ai contemporanei Limp Bizkit e Korn, gli Incubus tornano indietro alle origini del crossover, a Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rage Against the Machine e Primus. Non c'Š nulla su SCIENCE (Immortal, 1997) o Make Yourself (Epic, 1999) che non sia gia' stato fatto, ma perlomeno si ha una profonda impressione di onesta' e sincerita'. Make Yourself (Epic, 1999) e' molto efficace nel rubare stereotipi grunge e pop costruendo atmosfere molto accattivanti, come in Privilege e la stessa title track. La band Š attenta a non esagerare in nessuna delle due direzioni: il granitico riff nirvanesco di Nowhere Fast dura solo pochi secondi, subito rimpiazzato da una power ballad (con tracce di jazz a la Steely Dan); The Warmth stempera la tensione con un organo Doorsiano e relativa suspense; la parte centrale di Stellar sembra presa da un album dei Police. Solo verso la fine la band mostra tutta l'originalita' di cui dispone: Drive (il loro hit) Š un furbo country-rocker nelle vene di Crosby Stills & Nash; la chitarra suona in Clean al ritmo di un "coitus interruptus", accompagnata da un basso funky; Battlestar Scralatchica gioca con dei ritmi hip-hop scratchati e compressi. Il grunge degli Incubus e' pi— celebrale che muscolare. Wish You Were Here e Blood on the Ground continuano il processo di riallineamento verso il mainstream su Morning View (Epic, 2001), viceversa l'album mostra un suono elegante e dinamiche eclettiche che reinventano virtualmente l'arte dell'heavy-metal. Nice to Know You, Have You Ever e Under My Umbrella sono anch'esse piene di stereotipi, ma li sovvertono ad ogni nota. L'esperimento pero' fallisce a causa di un eccesso di dolcezza (11 am e Mexico), e anche questo e' nondimeno inusuale.

A Crow Left Of The Murder (Epic, 2004) is simply an album of generically bombastic hard-rock (Megalomaniac).

By the time of Light Grenades (Sony, 2006), Incubus had become synonym with "mainstream metal". The singalong Diamonds and Coal, the ballad Earth to Bella and the occasional burst of violence (Anna Molly) defined the stereotype of what the masses expected from mainstream metal.

If Not Now, When (2011) contains Adolescents and little else to commend the new power-pop course.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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