I wasn’t aware that it was 1999 and Incubus was, once again, making me want to drive around all night tonelessly singing along with their new song. Get it? Because that song was also called “Drive”?
God, I’m funny.
In all seriousness, Incubus has always been a band known for their ability to transcend genres and for expertly crafted lyrics; this new single is no exception to that rule. The song hits hard with metal guitar riffs and a frenetic energy that is reminiscent of albums like “S.C.I.E.N.C.E”. However, that fact may also be the biggest flaw.
Incubus has burned me in the past by releasing a really solid single and then having the rest of the album be fairly uninspiring. This was especially true with the album “Morning View”, and as a result I remain wary giving this song as much praise as I want to. The song is good, but is it good enough to make me care? Of that I can’t be sure. As a much better band once said, I won’t get fooled again.
The opening of the song churns like a terrifying maelstrom under the surface of what could be an intense, unforgiving sea. And I’ll be damned if it doesn’t deliver with a powerful chorus and really lyrically strong verses. The narrative is consistent throughout and definitely paints the picture of that dumb friend we all have who drinks a little too much, cracks his tooth on the curb walking home, and perpetually makes you glad you’re not them. However ridiculous this person is (Imma call him Fred), they always seem to bounce back and you can’t help but be impressed about that.
The irony of it is that this song ends up being a perfect metaphor for my relationship with the band as a whole. Their constant fumbling and trying to be relevant with every album would be kind of endearing, but it always kinda feels like a personal let down. The bridge of the song ends up showing the realities of this song by being, by far the weakest part of the track after the intense first half and a killer guitar solo. It almost feels like they wanted to recapture that slight jam-band feel of the early records and then got lost.
God damn it, Incubus. I want to love this, but I just can’t help but feel that you showed your hand with this single… and I’m not sure I’m ready to get invested.
The Score: 6/10