Incubus | If Not Now, When?

Standouts like “Switchblade”, “In the Company of Wolves”, and “Thieves” more than save this album from what quickly could have been the Brandon Boyd show.

 

 

 

With nearly five years in-between album release one would think that ever-evolving Incubus might be ready to return with an album that brings a brand new sound to the band, that is in fact the case with If Not Now, When?

With so much time in between releases doing things like; attending Harvard or art school, and having children, the band members seem to have mellowed far past the point of 2006s’ Light Grenades. The band were inspired to reach in new directions musically and achieved that, now will fans follow? After spending quite a bit of time with it, fans should acquiesce to the bands change, but it is a grower that requires patience. 

Songs like “Promises, Promises” could be hits at many a soft-rock station country wide, while more progressive tunes such as “In the Company of Wolves” start as a mellow jam session before evolving into an orchestral dark place the band have yet to venture musically. The latter is sure to be a winning extended-rock session track on the bands upcoming 18 months of touring, as it strikes the tone of past live standout “Sick Sad Little World”.

If one track were to fit in best with the band’s recent Greatest Hits compilation, it would certainly be the albums first single, “Adolescents”. The song features a more simplistic guitar riff from Einziger than heard in the past, but still remains very effective in the alternative rock area of music. Lead-singer brandon Boyd’s vocals give the track and album one last feel of urgency before heading off into the expansive "Tomorrow’s Food" which end’s feeling very much like a throwback to 2001s’ "Aqueous Transmission".  
 
A few tracks here feel as though they could have easily been b-side reworks from Boyd’s 2010 solo release, and the album suffers due to that. The tracks that effectively incorporate many of the bands (albeit less-aggressive) clearly Incubus stylistic choices allow this album to shine through. Standouts like “Switchblade”, “In the Company of Wolves”, and “Thieves” more than save this album from what quickly could have been the Brandon Boyd show. Though the band may have been briefly “out of sight, out of mind” they are clearly any thing but “out of time.” B- | Bruce Matlock

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