Light Grenades

Written by: PP on 21/12/2006 12:16:33

Whether you like them or not, Incubus' influence on this generation can not be forgotten. This is a band that has acted as the stepping stone for many on their journey to harder and more alternative music from the mainstream, like a mediator if you like. All their albums have been remarkably different from one another, and each highlight a different aspect of their sound, but I found especially "A Crow Left Of The Murder" as their best work yet both musically and artistically, even if I secretly will always love "Circles" and "11am" the most from the band. But the last album, however experimental and daring it was in its arrangements, was perhaps not received as well as "Morning View" by a large part of the fans. Perhaps this is why "Light Grenades", their sixth studio album, takes a few steps back and positions itself in between "Morning View" and "A Crow Left Of The Murder", sounding like the album that should've been released after the prior to lead the fans into the more experimental "ACLOTM".

Take "Dig", for instance, a classic Incubus ballad. The vocal melodies in the song remind you immediately of "Morning View", while the atmospheric guitar and sound effects make you think "ACLOTM" straight away. On the other hand, "A Kiss To Send Us Off" is a more rocking track, slightly aligned with songs like "Circles" and "Nice To Know You", and along with the groovy "Anna Molly", has the band at its very best, most distinguishable, as the Incubus we learned to know so well during the first half of the decade.

It comes as a small surprise then, that the title track uses similar semi-chaotic, overpowered melody assaults as "Pistola" or "Beware! Criminal". Together with "Rogues" and "Pendulous Threads", they bring back the experimentation, unconventional riffs and sound effects the band introduced us to on the previous album.

The way Incubus are able integrate slow ballads on their albums without breaking the flow never seizes to amaze me. The two-part "Earth To Bella" and "Love Hurts" are both beautiful ballads, easily memorable, singalongable and full of substance unlike the acoustic tracks most bands put on their records these days. I don't know if it's the vocal melodies, the effect-laden keyboard or the sound effects, but these songs are the reason why Incubus is loved by such a broad audience.

All that glitters is not gold though, and like all albums, "Light Grenades" too has one or two tracks they should've reconsidered. The acoustic-lead "Paper Shoes", for instance, is not a bad song as such but not really the style Incubus are looking for on the album. Despite that, the overall feel of the album is good - very good - and we can all sigh in relief for Incubus has once again proven that they are some of the best musicians on the planet.

Download: Pendulous Threads, A Kiss To Send Us Off, Diamonds And Coal
For the fans of: The Smashing Pumpkins, Coldplay, Foo Fighters
Listen: Myspace

Release date 28.11.2006

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