New from Incubus: The Predictably Unpredictable ‘Trust Fall: Side B’ EP Hits Solid Heights (Listen)


Adrian GarroCategories:Latest News

Rock Cellar Magazine

You can’t pigeonhole Incubus.

Fresh off a 20th anniversary tour honoring its breakout 1999 album Make Yourself, the Calabasas, California-based alt/rock band released Trust Fall (Side B), a new EP featuring five new songs, on Friday. It’s technically the second part of a two-EP set, following Trust Fall (Side A), which came out back in 2015 — thought here was a full-length album, 8, in between (coming out in 2017).

https://www.instagram.com/p/B_FtTWyjgVc/

All that to say: Incubus has chosen a unique path when it comes to its music and release schedule over the years. How else do you explain a split-EP release with a full-length in the middle?

Incubus has never been the type of band to head back to the studio every two years to make a new record on a schedule — in fact, guitarist Mike Einziger told us in 2017 that it’s precisely that lack of planning that can lead Incubus to its best material:

“In fact, our inability to plan what we’re doing is so great that it’s actually why we haven’t put music out that frequently in recent years. The point at which it becomes an album, a group of songs that are ready to go and make us say, “OK, this is an Incubus album” or, “this is something we’re happy to release”…it’s such an unplanned, spontaneous thing that we can’t even plan when it happens.”

Anyway, back to this new music. Trust Fall (Side B) was previewed in recent months with a pair of tracks, “Into The Summer” (which nods to influences such as Bowie and Prince in its funkiness) and “Our Love,” which came with a psychedelic, mushroom-aided video:

But what makes the new batch of songs on Trust Fall (Side B) is the other trio of tracks. The mini-LP begins with “Karma, Come Back,” an immediately engaging slow burn of alt/funk led by interplay between Einziger and bassist Ben Kenney. Brandon Boyd’s hushed vocals add to the atmospheric pull of the track, until a jagged guitar freakout takes over around the halfway mark:

“On Without Me” sounds like a hybrid of a track from 2004’s A Crow Left of the Murder … and 2006’s Light Grenades, delivered with maturity of a band well into its third decade, Boyd delivering earnest heart-on-sleeve pleas (as is his custom):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKoM9bKvn90

The EP’s final track, “Paper Cuts,” caps things off with the sort of dynamic weight and power that might catch the most dedicated fans by surprise.

I wrote those words to you/And every bit was true/But you were not meant to read them/Those words were mine, sings Boyd, matched to just a haunting piano progression. It’s quite a musical statement, and it’s a hell of an exclamation point.

It’s 2020. Being a “rock band” isn’t what it was in 2000, when Incubus became a global phenomenon and set in action the course of the next two decades. After becoming A Big Deal all those years ago, the band forged its own path, taking creative leaps — much to the chagrin of devoted fans of Incubus’ earliest, most raw (and aggressive) material.

At times along the way, the group’s defiant nature and desire to do something different has paid off — and that unpredictability led to the inspiration behind Trust Fall (Side B), and it shines in the right places.

Stream the EP below, via Spotify:

As of now, Incubus is scheduled to tour this summer with special guests 311 and Badflower, should the tour not be scrapped due to the coronavirus.



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