‘Glitterbomb’ is no saccharine pop song — it’s Incubus’ return to peak form

Incubus fans know that Brandon Boyd is a frisky, sentimental lad, what with lyrics like Love is a verb here in my room, or I smell your skin on the pillow next to mine. We like that the band, from its funk-metal core, is able to consistently shift to its softer side from the start, with each album holding a sappy gem. Think Summer Romance in “S.C.I.E.N.C.E.” or the aforementioned I Miss You from “Make Yourself.”

But truth be told, we’ve really missed the angst. Songs like Favorite Things and Nice To Know You could very well be interpreted as anti-love songs, Incubus-style, with lyrics at once razor-sharp and poetic and belonging in this quotability-crazed era, in pop and alternative culture. We missed their big screw-you’s to failed romances, their eloquently-phrased odes to life’s disappointments, amid all their spit-fire protests against megalomaniacs and The System.

Their most recent release, Glitterbomb, is a refreshing return to all that. If the title is a turn-off, don’t be fooled. The song isn’t Katy Perry-saccharine in the slightest. It could be about anything, however, on the surface, it serves as an upfront affront against a life-sucking partners who are completely obsessed with themselves. Right on.

With lots of room to breathe lyrically, Boyd, a prime example of singing it like you mean it, delivers the angered, pained verses (I was your friend but I ended up your victim; Now I remember why I’m all alone) with his trademark clarity and emotion. It’s significantly different from the first single, Nimble Bastard, which is, however, also a satisfying return to the band’s original form. Finally, some catchy angry music from Incubus. If it’s any indication of everything else that the Skrillex-co-produced “8” holds (due for release on April 21), we can expect a record that hardcore Incubus fans would find truly essential.

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