Young, aggro, and from Los Angeles--it's tempting to put Incubus in the already crowded category populated by Korn, System of a Down, and their other loud and heavy brethren. But that would sell Incubus short, because Make Yourself
, the quintet's sophomore album, is a strong progression beyond their 1997 debut, S.C.I.E.N.C.E.
. More like Faith No More than Limp Bizkit, Incubus still have that teen-mosh appeal, though the songwriting and instrumentation on Make Yourself
is diverse and thoughtful, both lyrically and musically. "Drive" is an easygoing, slightly trippy acoustic-based outing, while oddball scratching (courtesy of DJ Chris Kilmore) and trip-hop funkiness make "Battlestar Scralatchtica" aptly titled. "Nowhere Fast" is vaguely 311-ish with a reggae tinge and lovely melodic interludes, in contrast to the furious intensity of "Out from Under," which gives Make Yourself
a surprisingly cohesive diversity that's hard to categorize. Ultimately, singer Brandon Boyd is not a vocal genius, but lyrically and in performance, he's sensitive, charismatic, and unique. Ditto for the 13 cuts that make up Make Yourself
. --Katherine Turman