Written By: Michael and Terri Gonzales
Petoskey, Michigan’s post hardcore quintet Famous Last Words have done it once again by creating another incredible concept album that is truly one of a kind. Famous Last Words are set to release their third full length studio album The Incubus through Revival Recordings on September 30th. The Incubus delves deep into the issues of domestic and sexual abuse with the album’s storyline set in the 1950’s post WWII era. The album’s lyrics focus on a central character named Christine as the story is told from her perspective as a stay-at-home mother during the 1950’s. Despite the fact that the storyline for The Incubus is set in the 1950’s, the issues that frontman JT Tollas delves into lyrically also showcase how much of this exact same abuse still continues to happen every single day in our modern society. The Incubus truly exemplifies that despite how far we may have come as a society, we are still plagued with many of the same issues today in regards to domestic and sexual abuse. These crimes occur at a staggering rate daily leaving countless victims living in fear and silence as the world seems to just look the other way the majority of the time as opposed to speaking out against these crimes and seeking justice.
Famous Last Words have always done spectacular work when it comes to their concept albums from start to finish touching on subject matters that most bands would never even consider. That is just part of the beauty and artistic creativity that makes Famous Last Words one of the most unique and talented up and coming bands out there. It has always been quite apparent throughout all of Famous Last Words albums that a meticulous amount of attention to detail has been applied to every aspect of their work and The Incubus is no exception. The work ethic that Famous Last Words employs when it comes to creating an album is something that many bands should be taking notes on and also envious of. Their passion and conviction for what they are representing shines through clearly in every note and lyric they write, and it is far and few between to be able to say that about many bands these days.
It goes without saying that concept albums are clearly the modus operandi for Famous Last Words, yet The Incubus is far more than just that. Famous Last Words truly shine through with how much they have grown not just musically, but personally as individuals as well throughout The Incubus. The album showcases some of their most diverse and complex musical compositions to date. There is plenty of classic Famous Last Words‘ heavy breakdowns and screams combined with harmonious clean vocal melodies, and also plenty of unexpected turns and twists that is bound to drop plenty of jaws and leaves heads spinning with how unpredictable yet stylishly smooth the breakdowns and transitions occur. In addition to all of that there is also a variety of tempos throughout accompanied with a good amount of electronic effects added that were all done very tastefully and quite well. The Incubus contains a good amount diverse musical influences and directions, yet at its core always pulls back into the classic tried and true Famous Last Words sound and style. The band’s addition of Evan Foley as a secondary guitarist adds a whole new dimension to the band’s heavy hitting intensity and onslaught of crushing guitar rhythms.
Overall The Incubus is surely Famous Last Words‘ finest album to date. Musically alone the album is intense in its own right, but it is only when the listener truly pays attention to the lyrics and immerse themselves into the tale of Christine that The Incubus reaches an entirely new level of artistic and musical greatness. A whirlwind of emotions and experiences enthrall listeners as they experience the somber life of Christine. The Incubus may be set in 1950’s yet its stories and message apply perfectly to current times as well. There will surely be plenty of victimized people that will feel empowered in a sense and realize they are not alone in their struggles from listening to The Incubus which is a wonderful thing in its own right.
Famous Last Words are truly unique band that have continually released some of the most mesmerizing concept albums within the past decade. Creating an enticing and immersing concept album is a bit of a dying art form these days as so many bands and fans are so focused on instant gratification. It seems as if no one is interested in the time and effort either spent to create or even listen to an entire album, however Famous Last Words continue to defy that notion and proudly do so. The Incubus needs and deserves to be listened to in its entirety from start to finish to truly obtain the experience and message. While the entire album is great, these are some of the stand out tracks from the album: “Trophy Wife”, “Pretty in Porcelain”, “Bury My Burdens”, “The Judged”, and “How the Mighty Mock the Weak”. Nonetheless The Incubus hits hard from start to finish and is a fine piece of work by Famous Last Words and is essential for any fan to pick up this coming Friday, September 30th. There is a wide variety of pre-order bundles available ranging from modest to mega sized, and there is even a raffle ticket available with a chance to win lifetime VIP access to any and all future Famous Last Words performances. Also be sure to catch Famous Last Words on the Ten Frail Years of Vanity and Wax Tour supporting Alesana this October along with Oh Sleeper and Artwork. Pre-order The Incubus here and keep up with Famous Last Words.
If you or someone that you know is in an abusive situation please no matter how desperate or trapped you may feel do not keep enduring it. Don’t be afraid to confide in someone you can trust, or ask for help. Do not tolerate emotional, physical, sexual, verbal, or any type of abuse.