Kicking in like a compellingly acrimonious version of Rush ("Megalomaniac") before meandering through what can rather uncomfortably be termed noodly, time-signature lottery jazz-metal terrain A Crow Left of Murder
probably identifies Incubus as the average Pearl Jam fan's second-choice for chin-stroking mosh action. Brendon O'Brien (Soundgarden, Pearl Jam) produces and singer Brandon Boyd possibly fancies himself as a bit of a Vedder-esque sage, even blustering "My secret arsenal is an infinite ageless ink well" on the otherwise acceptable metal squawk of "Pistola".
Boyd obviously has big issues with the ills of the world but the lyrics to "Talk Show on Mute" (reality TV is bad, especially Big Brother) and "Zee Deveel" (nice cars, nice clothes and other status symbols are bad) say nothing to enhance mankind's understanding of these twin evils. Incubus are probably on firmer ground with "Made for TV Movie" (like "Megalomaniac" it's an anti-War-on-Terror diatribe) and musically they're to be applauded for sidestepping the prescripted expectations of the metal genre they've been saddled with. Ultimately, however, one's enjoyment of this record swings on whether one considers Brandon Boyd's societal musings to be deeply venerable discourse or just soppy waffle. --Kevin Maidment