It is hard to believe that California rock act Incubus have been touring and creating music for two decades now. Making their name on a funky rock vibe that also had a lot of punch, it was hard not to like their sound. The quality of making something a fan can bang their head to while also dancing is difficult for modern rock music. The first half of the bands discography is undoubtedly their best. Albums like a Make Yourself and Morning View will always be two of my favorite rock albums released in my lifetime. The later albums lack a considerable edge and power, relying more on moody and poppy tracks instead of hard rockers. Trust Fall(Side A) sadly follows along with their latest trendy sound.
Opening an at least two-part EP collection, Trust Fall(Side A) only features four tracks. The traditional sound and grooves of the band are still here. The guitars are both dirty but also well-played. “Make Out Party” still shows that they can write a catchy song and have a good time as well. There really are no great songs to digest as a whole on Trust Fall(Side A) though. The lack of a track that immediately grabs a listener’s attention is a real shame. Even on the weaker full length efforts from Incubus, there were always a few solid tracks mixed in.
The negatives of the EP sadly outweigh the positives by good measure. The production is not going to blow anyone away, leaving tracks sounding a bit too clean and sterile. The lack of life and energy on all four tracks is mostly due to vocals that lack momentum and gusto. The biggest issue for the EP is easily the weaker writing. None of the tracks really bring any sense of purpose and rely on goofy hooks that are poorly put-together. “Dance Like You’re Dumb” is the only moderately entertaining song on Trust Fall(Side A) but it lacks being silly enough to wear that distinction proudly.
Incubus have been in a slight funk, putting together less interesting and lively projects over the last five years. This is the most disappointing thus far. They still have a certain passion for releasing groovy rock music that can get a crowd moving, but the writing and mixing has become too much of an issue to ignore. It would be nice to see Incubus come back to the heavy and pretty sound that challenged how mainstream rock can sound. There is still potential that Side B could be better, but the fun nature has disappeared from Incubus somehow.
1. Trust Fall
2. Make Out Party
3. Absolution Calling
4. Dance Like Your Dumb