Here’s a twist for you; I’m going to talk about how much Skip Duglas’ Change Together reminds me of so many other artists, but I’m not going to do it negatively. This album includes all the trademarks of some of rock radio’s biggest successes. The mix of so many influential features is done so beautifully that it would be nearly impossible to bash it, and I’m not even going to try.
Very rarely does a pop rock album wake me up and grab my attention as immediately as did this one. Opening track “El Camino” swings into action like Spiderman, with a mean set of riffs and some tasty vocals sprinkled over top. Think Maroon 5’s It Won’t Be Soon Before Long. Like that album, Change Together leaves no room for auxiliary bullshit, concentrating instead on hooks and punches. Musically, the band delivers an exceptionally tight performance. It is stressed in their website blurb that they wanted to capture the live experience without too much studio magic, at which they’ve done a stellar job.
What’s that been, two paragraphs? Okay, good. Let’s now talk about Incubus. More specifically, let’s talk about how unfair it is to tell me that you drew inspiration from one of my favourite band’s riff-heavy and fist pumping third album, Morning View, and then throw me a curve ball and show me something more akin to their lighthearted and rhythmically spastic fifth album, Light Grenades. Singer Rick does an exceptional job of channelling Brandon Boyd’s smooth vocals and melodic creativity without sacrificing any of his own personality as an artist. This kind of tribute-without-ripoff is a rare thing, so, kudos to you, Rick.
The positive comparisons to other blockbuster artists don’t stop there. This album is the perfect combination of Incubus’ quirkiness, Weezer’s happy-go-lucky swing, Green Day’s sheer melodic sensibility, with a dash of the Foo Fighters’ snarling sincerity.
I will throw a shout out to drummer Jeremy for keeping things interesting. And I will continue by saying that if you don’t like Incubus, Green Day, Weezer, Maroon 5 or the Foo Fights, then you probably won’t like this album…but, then you’re probably lying to yourself.
I could go on and on talking about everything this album does right, but there wouldn’t really be any point because a hit is a hit, and, as far as I’m concerned, that’s what we have here.
Written by Syd Ghan