Incubus’s latest still isn’t as good as what we’ve heard 8-10 years ago. 8 isn’t a lost effort, it’s just a confusing one. At it’s best it sounds like a throwback record that’s grimy but sonically pleasing; something that you’d love to hear in the standing room at CBGB. At it’s worst, it’s just kind of boring background noise.
Early on, 8 is great. “No Fun” and “Nimble Bastard” are raucous guitar-driven tracks that have great choruses. They’re fun and the best Incubus tracks that have been put out in years. Then, something happens with “State of Art”, and really it happens with the overproduced fluff at the front of the song. It takes what was established with the first two tracks and just throws it away for hand claps and synth noises. The rest of the way, the band switches between those two gears. Raucous and fun guitar-driven music and then synth-based melodic. I love the synth stuff, but not from Incubus in this style. The two styles don’t really blend well with each other.
Any new Incubus music is welcome. There are a few songs here that are going to be added to the favorites list from the band but not nearly as many as they’ve had off albums in the past. This is just an okay album from Incubus but okay is better than nothing.