About four years have passed since the release of the much different If Not Now? When album from Incubus that took the band to new horizons musically. Within that four year time period, singer Brandon Boyd and guitar Mike Einzinger went to different side projects respectively and with that, one wondered how the band’s eventual return would affect their musical acumen. Would we receive the groove/funk infused material of past albums or a further divvy into the atmospheric tone of IFNW?
Trust Fall: Side A is not only a return to form of the Incubus we know, but an acknowledgment of past sounds that were not as abundant on their recent songs. The EP starts out with the six plus minute title track that structure wise hearkens to “Megalomaniac” from 2004’s A Crow Left Of The Murder. Einzinger contributes his faint guitar chords to pair with the bass lines of Ben Kinney that explodes with the drumming of José Pasillas acting as the glue ordering the groove throughout the track once the chorus kicks in. Brandon Boyd’s trademark lyrics are featured contributing love to a “trust fall”: (It’s only a trust fall/Into the arms of all/Love is a blessed curse, lets you sail across the known universe).
“Make Out Party” slows the tempo down with rather racy content from Boyd not just contributing kissing to the lips. Einzinger makes use of lengthening guitar chords to enhance the sexual vibe.The lyrics play the line of subtle and straightforward in the art of love making. (“Let me introduce you to my slippery fingers/glistening and dangerous/used in modern ways that would make you giggle at my funeral”). “Absolution Calling” was the first song we heard since the band reformed after their brief hiatus. Chris Kilmore makes use of his synths that highlight the beginning and drive the background of the song, which is not quite in the pop realm, but catchy enough to hook the listener.
The last song,”Dance Like You’re Dumb” as a bass guitar line similar to Death From Above 1979 and shows the metaphoric muster of Boyd, who equates the every man struggle of living for money and jobs vs. having a semblance of happiness. There’s even a point in the bridge with harmonizing female vocalists with an almost swing-like drum cadence.
The next chapter of Incubus seems like one that we were familiar with and that’s not to a fault. Those fans who may have been put off by the sound scapes of their previous album should lend an ear to Side A as it touches the surface of what makes the band tick again.