Solo on The Wild Trapeze

By Roxanne Holmes

If you are a listener of hard or alternative rock, you will no doubt have heard of, if not currently listen to Incubus, and if not, you have been seriously deprived. Incubus is a band from California and is by far my favourite band of all time, and was also the first to introduce me to the genre. The beats are unique, the lyrics powerful and the voice of lead singer Brandon Boyd is definitely one of the main attractions. Incubus has released several albums since 1991 and debuted at no.1 in 2006.

Boyd and drummer Jose Pasillas, bassist Alex Katunich and guitarist Mike Einziger had started playing together in high school and most have been together since, this is why it was so surprising for me to find out that Brandon Boyd had recorded a solo album. Although Brandon’s voice is practically the main attraction to their music for me, I was still extremely sceptical to hear him perform sans the band.

Brandon Boyd’s solo album called The Wild Trapeze was released on the June 21 this year and debuted at no.33 with song Runaway Train. I listened to the tracks, all of which were written and composed by Boyd himself, and although his singing was as masterful as ever, there was something missing.

The Wild Trapeze lived up to many of my expectations in that as always, the power of Boyd’s voice was reinforced by the deep and thought provoking lyrics. The vocals, however powerful, seemed to disappear into the stereotypical sound of rock music because of the music accompanying the vocals, it was nothing like the crazy beats of Incubus. Without Pasillas, Einziger, new bassist Ben Kenney and turntablist DJ Kilmore, Boyd loses his touch.

The Wild Trapeze with Brandon Boyd’s vocals and passionate lyrics is still probabally better than most other rock music, but compared to the level he reached in Incubus, the album was disappointing. The uniqueness and intensity of his music was lost in the standard guitaring and lack of synthesized electronic beats spun by the rest of his band, The Wild Trapeze was not as wild as it could have been.

I would recommend that it is definitely worth a listen as it is still some of the best rock music out there, but if you truly want to blow your mind, listen to Brandon Boyd in Incubus, it’ll make yourself!

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