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‘8’ review: Incubus ends hiatus with its most focused album

Incubus'

Incubus' "8" on Island Records Credit: Island Records

INCUBUS

“8”

THE GRADE B+

BOTTOM LINE Honing their eclectic, experimental roots to a fine point that’s all their own

Incubus has been hard to classify for two decades now — mixing rock, pop, hip-hop, punk, thrash, jazz and EDM into a string of eclectic albums that still manage to top the charts.

After a six-year break from the road and each other, Incubus returns with “8” (Island), their most focused and consistent album yet. Apparently what the guys from Incubus learned from being apart is how good they can sound together.

“No Fun” kicks off an enviable run of five songs — each a potential single as strong as the next — that will likely have a stranglehold on alternative rock radio deep into next year. In addition to its catchy chorus, “No Fun” also shows how Skrillex punched up the album’s production, inserting musical interjections that keep the energy level high.

“Undefeated” may end up being the album’s most memorable song, an inspirational anthem built around Brandon Boyd’s powerful declaration, “I’m not dead yet. I’m bent, but not broken.” Not only will that likely be the soundtrack to the sizzle reel to every sports playoff game this year, but it will mark Incubus’ triumphant return.

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