Track Review: Incubus, ‘Nimble Bastard’
Veteran alternative rock band Incubus makes a spirited return with unapologetically-titled single, “Nimble Bastard.”
Alternative rock darlings Incubus returns with a brand new, unapologetically-named single, “Nimble Bastard.” Whoa! Certainly, through the course of musical history, there are only a select few singles that utilize the oft-offensive term. But who cares – it’s 2017 and everything goes! Incubus, ultimately, sets themselves apart from the crowd with “Nimble Bastard.” Does the song itself live up to its risqué title? Yes actually.
“Nimble Bastard” is indeed nimble – rather spry. By spry we mean that tempo is quick. Naturally given the quick pace, the energy is ferocious, with Brandon Boyd giving his all vocally, once tings percolate. He sings the first verse somewhat reserved in an undertone, but soon finds his groove on the electrifying chorus.
“When you land on your feet / You’re a nimble bastard / And you don’t skip a beat / Such a nimble bastard / Salt of the earth / Such a nimble bastard / Yeah, won’t you show, lowly us / How do you see the stars from that far down.”
Based upon the chorus, the nimble bastard of which Boyd speaks is omniscient and all-knowing. The verses provide more background. On the first verse, Boyd admits to his imperfections, question how he succeeds:
“If we really only ever get one chance to burn / I gotta trip before I can see the finish / How else would I learn / I wanna know, how is it you do it?”
On the second verse, this is a reprisal of the how. The questions expand:
“How do you spill the paint? / And then fit it into a frame?”
So, what is Incubus’ message? According to an interview for Radio.com, Brandon Boyd had no specific person in mind who is a nimble bastard. He essentially describes his message as one of resiliency and being in awe of a person who possesses such resiliency. So, this isn’t about God. And why would it be? Who would call the man upstairs such a name, even in endearing terms?
Ultimately, Incubus has a good thing going for them with “Nimble Bastard.” No, the song title won’t win over widespread radio support, but this does sound like the band making a respectable return. Classy it’s not, but definitely respectable. Boyd sounds on his game, and the song is stimulating. All in all, it’s all good.
Incubus • Nimble Bastard – single • Island • Release: 2.17.17
Photo Credit: Island