Album Review: Famous Last Words ‘The Incubus’

Famous Last Words’ third studio album, The Incubus, is due to be released by Revival Recordings on September 30th. Famous Last Words is a band that skillfully combines heavy guitar riffs, catchy hooks (music and lyrical) and symphonic elements in order to tell complex and detailed stories with their music. This is NOT opera, but in a sense, it serves the same purpose – telling a story through music.

The band is comprised of JT Tollas on vocals, Craig Simons on drums, Tyler Myklebust on guitar, Matthew Bell on bass and Evan Foley on guitar. Their sound is at first almost loud and discordant, but as you listen you begin to pick the complex melodies that weave through each individual track. The music is catchy, but its complex structure makes it music that you need to listen to, rather than have on in the background. With The Incubus the band has a well-defined story that needs an audience.

The musicianship and production value on this recording are high and serve to highlight the message that FLW is serving up to their listeners. The album itself, The Incubus tackles the issue of sexual/domestic abuse and kicks off with the album’s first single, “Pretty in Porcelain.”

In the video, the band introduces their main character, Christine and a story told through her perspective as a stay-at-home mother in the 1950’s. Christine represents anyone who has ever been a victim of abuse, and unfortunately, a lot of the issues she deals with in the album are still problems that are prevalent in today’s society. Continuing this story, Famous Last Words recently partnered with Huffington Post to unveil “The Judged,” a story in which Christine finds herself in a courtroom on trial for being a ‘rape victim.’ Listeners can hear the play on lyrics to which the singing and screaming showcase two characters, Christine and the prosecutor.

Tollas explains:

It’s meant to show the absurdity of blaming oneself for being the victim of sexual/domestic assault.

The strong story, combined with equally strong music is worth listening to over and over again. Perhaps someday this will become a fable, rather than a story people can identify with.


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