Thursday, 3 December 2009

28: Incubus - Megalomaniac

A second consecutive protest song, and the second song in my countdown directly inspired by George 'Dubya'.

For a brief while, it appeared that Incubus were on course to become one of the world's biggest bands. The 2001 single 'Drive' won Billboard's Modern Rock Song of the Year and went to #9 in the US charts. Their fifth studio album, 'A Crow Left Of The Murder' (the record on which 'Megalomaniac' was the opening track) sold 2 million copies after its release in early 2004. Three successive albums ('Morning View', 'A Crow...' and 2006's 'Light Grenades' reached the top two of the album charts Stateside.

But for all this success, Incubus were, frankly, never very good. I've always thought of them as the Maroon 5 of the emo world. Tacky lyrics and made-for-radio cheesy riffs didn't exactly set them apart as innovators.

It was their anger towards Bush that inspired their one fine moment. Much of their work was vitriolic, but 'Megalomaniac' had a readily identifiable target for that anger. "Hey megalomaniac, you're no Jesus, you're no f**king Elvis" sent a clear message that Average Joe no longer trusted the man with executive responsibility. These rock stars were voicing a widespread sentiment about the man who had failed to prevent 9/11 and who had taken the US into unpopular wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

But as I've mentioned, Incubus were never very good, and 'Megalomaniac' was the beginning of the end. It was their highest charting single in the UK, but they've never made the Top 40 over here since. Their greatest hits album was released this year, and didn't even reach the Top 100, which, in these days where a few thousand album sales guarantees you a Top 10 hit, suggests that their record company will be parting company with them shortly.

That said, if this song is their sole legacy, then it's a pretty decent legacy to leave.

1 comment:

  1. never very good?

    are you serious? you HAVE to be kidding.
    just listen to one of their albums (which I doubt you ever have) and you will see they are a great band.


    you're a deaf fool for saying they are not very good.