Incubus and the Walkmen

Though front man Brandon Boyd's lyrics on current album A Crow Left of the Murder leave something to be desired--you know, sense--I wouldn't mind at all if California's Incubus becomes a model for the modern alt-metal band: They muster muscular daybreak guitar fuzz without forgoing pretty parts or roses on CD covers; they feature at least one member whose eventual Calvin Klein ad I'm not dreading; and, thanks primarily to new bassist Ben Kenney (a veteran of the Roots), they actually swing pretty hard. New York-based openers the Walkmen decided to make Bows + Arrows, their second album, without any songs, luxuriating in gloomy Manhattan subway steam instead.
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Mikael Wood