Defend Its Existence: Incubus

By Elliott Sharp
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 1 | Posted Sep. 7, 2011

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A 20-year-old who worked shitty construction gigs since high school moronically moved to a beach town to live on a sofa at a friend’s brother’s house. He didn’t seek work, but instead pawned instruments to buy beer and tacos. Going. Nowhere. Really. Fucking. Fast. Enter Incubus’s 1999 LP, Make Yourself. It’s about self-determination. “Isn’t it strange that a gift could be an enemy?” they ask on “Privilege,” the gift here being free will. Though it’s not a yuppie’s liberation story—succeed and join the herd—but much more romantically heroic. A nemesis called “the walking dead” appears throughout; it’s an external enemy, yes, but also an internal one we must overcome to achieve greatness. On hit single “Drive,” letting the dead determine our lives has “a vague, haunting mass appeal” because it’s easier to let others make us. Incubus nobly fought this subjugated spirit, and changed the boy’s life.

Sat., Sept. 10, 8pm. $25-$120. Susquehanna Bank Center, 1 Harbor Blvd., Camden, N.J. 856.365.1300. livenation.com

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1. Ashley Feucht said... on Sep 9, 2011 at 02:05PM

“Incubus is one of my all time favorite bands, and I can't believe I never really noticed the message behind this album (I have a theory that my brain hears the music, not so much the lyrics).

Like you, I'm also in a sort of transitional "limbo" between college and adulthood. Putting so much time and energy into making something of myself has been exhausting and sometimes leads to disappointment, failure, and big questions about which path will make me happiest. Pressure from outsiders with their own expectations of me doesn't help, either. Thank you for re-introducing this album to me in a new light.”

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