Mandatory Music: Incubus Has Spent 30 Years Honing Their Craft to Give You Near-Perfect New Music
Incubus haters call them a boy band knockoff of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Somehow, we don’t think lead singer Brandon Boyd cares. He formed the band with friends while in high school way back in ’91. Lead guitarist Mike Einziger and drummer José Pasillas are still by his side all these years later. Along the way, Boyd and company always kept it about the music. That metalhead you roomed with in college may talk smack. But, with 19 million albums sold, the fans have spoken.
Even the coronavirus can’t stop Boyd. He is still churning out fun and unexpected music. Recently, he released a cover of Beach House’s 2012 song “Myth.” Before that, he did a version of none other than the melodic song “Goodbye Moonmen” from hit Adult Swim show Rick and Morty. You know, the one with the cosmic singing fart? We review the best songs crafted by Incubus and Boyd over their three incredible decades singing and stealing the hearts of alt suburban girls.
Cover Photo: Joe Scarnici / Contributor (Getty Images)
Some good news: Incubus Releases New EP, Hosts Intimate Listening Party to Feed Children Affected by School Shutdowns
'Speak Free' from ‘Fungus Amongus’ (1995)
This was Incubus’s first studio album, and whatever it lacked in sophistication, it made up for in angsty southern California mid-'90s earnestness. Part metal, part rap, part punk, the song "Speak Free" still bumps to this day, even over two decades later.
'A Certain Shade of Green' from ‘S.C.I.E.N.C.E.’ (1997)
S.C.I.E.N.C.E. was the band’s second album, which may stand for Sailing Catamarans Is Every Nautical Captain's Ecstasy. The meaning of the song as a certain shade of green is hotly debated, but we’re going with the theory it’s about being stuck in L.A. traffic, which is enough to make anyone scream.
'Drive' from ‘Make Yourself’ (1999)
"Drive" is without a doubt Incubus’s most popular song, even rising to the very top of the U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks in 2001. According to Boyd, the album explores how we let fear drive us, and is definitely not about L.A. traffic, which is pretty frightful none the less.
'Wish You Were Here' from ‘Morning View’ (2001)
"Wish You Were Here" was the breakout track of Incubus’s fourth album, Morning View. One of the song’s coolest claims to fame is being featured in the video game Donkey Kong 2, but it was definitely no monkey business.
'Talk Shows on Mute' from ‘A Crow Left of the Murder’ (2004)
"Talk Shows on Mute" was inspired by the novels of dystopian visionaries Philip K. Dick and George Orwell. Even the music video was a send-up of Animal Farm, with humans forced to perform stupid tricks for their pets, which strongly resembles the plot for a Rick & Morty episode.
'Dig' from ‘Light Grenades’ (2006)
The band’s sixth album, Light Grenades, debuted at No. 1 in the Billboard 200, a first for the band. The song "Dig" was the album's breakout hit, and its sad, stripped-down tone makes it a perfect sad song to listen to during the long summer days of quarantine.
'Adolescents' from ‘If Not Now, When?’ (2011)
Continuing the band’s habit of naming things after obscure literary references, their seventh album, If Not Now, When?, is an homage to a Primo Levi novel of all things. The song "Adolescents" is quiet and contemplative, representing a considerable evolution in the band’s style.
'Throw Out the Map' from ‘8’ (2017)
For the band’s eighth album, 8, they seemed to give up on creative names. Luckily, they didn’t give up on the music, even bringing in the famous DJ and Cory Feldman look -alike Skrillex to help with the project.
'Karma, Come Back' from ‘Trust Fall (Side B)’ (2020)
The band’s fifth EP was released earlier this year in April, giving fans a friendly earworm to distract from the superbug. All of humanity is feeling Mother Nature’s wrath, which is why the song "Karma, Come Back" is so aptly named.
Cover of 'Goodbye Moonmen' from 'Rick & Morty'
While most celebrities are busy hiding in bunkers and playing with horses, Boyd has been hard at work churning out a slew of fun and unexpected covers. Our favorite is his rendition of "Goodbye Moonmen" by Rick & Morty, which apparently Boyd is as big a fan of as us.