Spawned from the remote SoCal suburb of Calabass, Incubus kick an up-to-the-minute hard rock/funk hybrid with the kind of in-yer-face intensity only kids barely in their 20s can marshal with real conviction. S.C.I.E.N.C.E., the quintet's slamming full-length debut on altmetal band Korn's Immortal Records, bares its influences without apologies. From the bone-tight mammoth beats and thump-slap of the four-string to the meaty bar chords and schizo melodic howling, the heritage is clear: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fishbone, Primus, Faith No More, Rage Against the Machine. But despite the derivative elements -- including dreadlocked white-boy singer Brandon Boyd's scary reproduction of Faith No More/Mr. Bungle vocalist Mike Patton's croon-rant-scream technique -- Incubus do their own thing.
Unlike Rage, they don't berate audiences with quasi-revolutionary slogans; their politics deal with each individual's struggle for identity and self-empowerment in a culture dominated by the "Idiot Box" ("What's the use of autonomy when a button does it all?" asks one lyric.) Older cynics may sneer at this obvious target, but to the band's audience it might not be that obvious. And rather than submit to the "mundane" of the "cable train," as they put it, Incubus are living their own TV movie as a stomping rock 'n' roll band. Which is more than most acts manage these days, including seminal funk rockers like the Chilis and Faith No More, who haven't worked up much groove power since ... their early 20s?