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Album Review
Incubus - Light Grenades Album Cover

Incubus - Light Grenades

Reviewed by
8.7
Incubus - Light Grenades
Release Date: 11/28/06
Record Label: Epic/Immortal


Incubus is the type of band that has been all over the map. As far as most acts go, they tend to work their way up, taste success, then start to fade away into relative obscurity. Incubus, however, does not seem to subscribe to this. For some reason or another, while their peers have long since walked off into the sunset of shittiness, Brandon Boyd and his crew somehow have managed to stay relevant for all these years. The group has had the slow-burn sleeper success (Make Yourself), the breakout superstar release (Morning View), and on the other side of the coin, the frigidly received (but still undeniably intriguing) A Crow Left of the Murder. When their latest work sloughed off a lot of the fickle frat-rock crowd just along for the Top 40 ride, it was quite interesting to suppose where Incubus would go with their follow-up effort. Thankfully enough, the end result is one that will please many fans, both old and new, as Light Grenades finds Incubus still comfortably diverging from its old-school nu-metal leanings, and embracing a more up-front straight-forward rock edge. Perhaps the best part of the entire equation, though, is how they do it with a level of conviction and sincerity that strongly illustrates how far the band has come and how well they have established themselves.

Right from the start of Light Grenades, the album announces itself as a "return to form." From the spacey echoes of "Quicksand" to the kicked-up bombast of "A Kiss To Send Us Off," it is evident that Incubus had a clear sense of focus working on the record. The best part about it, however, is the fact that it only gets better from there. "Dig" is a patient number that brings the band the closest it has been to "Drive" since its feverish success a few years ago. After that, the bar gets set even higher, as the jangly "Anna Molly" is easily one of the best songs that Incubus has ever written. Catchy, slick, but with a cool-handed edge throughout, the track is trademark Incubus - namely, the one that fans love so much. "Love Hurts" (no, not from the Gatorade commercials) is then the type of song that sets the band apart form its peers. Whereas a host of other would make a work like this sound cheeseball and hokey (I'm looking at you, Hoobastank), Incubus pulls it off with the greatest of ease (think "Echo").

From then on, the rest of Light Grenades is a bit of a mixed bag. "Light Grenades" is an adrenalin-spiked blitz that could easily be a S.C.I.E.N.C.E b-side, while "Rogues" is the kicked-up alterna-rock so consistently applied on Crow. On the other hand, though, "Oil and Water" and "Diamonds and Coal" occupy the off-kilter mid-speed that makes the band sound a little too restrained, but through it all, the songs still maintain an almost unfair amount of stickiness. And really, while these songs might be less than ideal, any shortcomings are still negated by the fabulous two-part "Earth to Bella" which is at once, a cacophonous interlude and an unnervingly eloquent closer. Sure, it is no "Aqueous Transmission," but it is still entirely notable.

As a music fan that grew up as Incubus was really coming into its own, I have been rooting for them all they way to their superstar level of success they hold at present. And while Crow was not exactly what I had hoped for, I was still able to see a great deal of allure in it. From there then, expectations were on edge for Light Grenades, but with this release, Incubus has met my hopes for this record, and even exceeded them. In the face of dumbed-down radio rock that continues to devolve (*cough* Hinder *cough*), it is such a pleasure to see a band like finding success in the constant refinement of their sound, and for the steady journey along which they have constantly matured.


Recommended if you like: Incubus - the one and only, or any of the posers that have followed
This review is a user submitted review from Steve Henderson. You can see all of Steve Henderson's submitted reviews here.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 65
10:07 AM on 01/13/07
#2
billymassey
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i might have to actually download this one... they can't outdo morning view but crow sucked...
10:12 AM on 01/13/07
#3
ARo2431
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Ive heard good things about this album. I like the shout out to hinder too haha so true
10:24 AM on 01/13/07
#4
jimmy22888
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Wow, yeah, thanks for reminding me of the beautiful "Aqueous Transmission." :)
10:24 AM on 01/13/07
#5
michaelwinters
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everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but to this day, i think that A Crow Left of the Murder was one of the best Rock albums to ever be released in my lifetime. Light Grenades is fantastic as well, but the creativity and explorative nature that permeates the songs on ACLOTM never fails to astound me. Again, it's only my opinion, but If you hate ACLOTM, I highly suggest giving it another spin with a bit of a different perspective. Incubus continues to redefine themselevs on an album-to-album basis, something that all bands should aspire to do. You may not like Incubus, but you can never say they are boring.
10:25 AM on 01/13/07
#6
Steve Henderson
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Wow, yeah, thanks for reminding me of the beautiful "Aqueous Transmission." :)
Such an awesome song...I rediscovered it a few weeks ago.
10:32 AM on 01/13/07
#7
whyte39
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great review, such a good album
10:33 AM on 01/13/07
#8
RomeoAGoGo
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Amazing album.
Amazing band.


Good review.
10:37 AM on 01/13/07
#9
gladnads
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Fabulous review, and a very well put together CD.
10:39 AM on 01/13/07
thisismyname
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Quote:
everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but to this day, i think that A Crow Left of the Murder was one of the best Rock albums to ever be released in my lifetime. Light Grenades is fantastic as well, but the creativity and explorative nature that permeates the songs on ACLOTM never fails to astound me. Again, it's only my opinion, but If you hate ACLOTM, I highly suggest giving it another spin with a bit of a different perspective. Incubus continues to redefine themselevs on an album-to-album basis, something that all bands should aspire to do. You may not like Incubus, but you can never say they are boring.

I agree, well I may not go as far as to say one of the best rock albums of my lifetime, but it still is one damn good listen, And I really feel It doesnt get the love it should have gotten.
10:53 AM on 01/13/07
live4music
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this is my first disappointment from incubus. i cant stand this album but i also adore ACLOTM and every other incubus album with the exception of this album. i think lyrically it sounds more like a brandon boyd solo record
10:54 AM on 01/13/07
quiksilver21k
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wow steve...that was one of the best reviews I have ever read on any website. I'm being 100% sincere too. You obviously have a solid background with Incubus and the fact that you mentioned how much Echo is amazing...well...gives you Incubus cred. I also like how you talked about ACLOTM as straying them away from the frat boys. I really like the new album...especially the guitar on Pendulous Threads and Anna Molly IS one of their best songs. I hope they keep making great music. 10/10 on your review.
11:06 AM on 01/13/07
bradyreier
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very good review steve. after listening to this album many many times, i honestly say that i still love it. to me, this album is right up there with morning view.
11:07 AM on 01/13/07
fowruok
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I'm a big Incubus fan -- my ordering of their albums:
1.) ACLOTM
2.) Morning View
3.) Light Grenades
Make Yourself
5.) SCIENCE
6.) Fungus Amongus

All excellent albums (besides Fungus...)
11:08 AM on 01/13/07
Steve Henderson
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wow steve...that was one of the best reviews I have ever read on any website. I'm being 100% sincere too. You obviously have a solid background with Incubus and the fact that you mentioned how much Echo is amazing...well...gives you Incubus cred. I also like how you talked about ACLOTM as straying them away from the frat boys. I really like the new album...especially the guitar on Pendulous Threads and Anna Molly IS one of their best songs. I hope they keep making great music. 10/10 on your review.

Thank you very much...I appreciate the kind words. :)

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