Sound — 10
If you just heard "Anna Molly" or "Drive" on the radio the other day, then you would probably be surprised to find that the same Incubus band put out this independent release over a decade ago. Fungus Amongus represents the "original" Incubus sound that combines influences in the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Primus. Unlike on many of the mainstream rock hits that filled Make Yourself and Morning View, as well as some of A Crow Left of the Murder, Mike Einziger (guitar), Jose Pasillas (drums), and then-bassist Dirk Lance all display their undeniable mastery of their instruments, especially Einziger, as notable on songs such as "Trouble in 421", "Psychopsilocybin", and the Spin Doctors-like jam of "Sink Beneath The Line". Casual or hardcore listeners alike of funk, ska, and metal will find this album to be an amazingly compact, while still rewarding listen.
Lyrics — 9
While Brandon Boyd is no lyrical wizard, his vocal abilites are impressive, to say the least. Boyd is able to churn out growls and screams, like on "You Will Be A Hot Dancer" and "Speak Free," and then, seemingly out of nowhere, quickly switch into a melodic lull that nearly puts you to sleep. On the song "Sink Beneath the Line", Boyd even takes a jab at some skat just before the powerful guitar solo that ensues. Nevertheless, the singing on this album far outweighs the lyrics. Still, who cares what he's singing about when you're listening to this guy's voice anyway?
Overall Impression — 10
The immediate differences in the sound of this album will immediately shock newer post-S.C.I.E.N.C.E. fans, as well as enlighten listeners of how skilled these four guys really are at their respective instruments. Brandon Boyd, despite the irrelevance of his lyrics on this album, is most likely the star here. Still, it is hard to deny that Einziger or Lance are two of the best at their instruments from their time. For those who even remotely enjoy the funk/metal genre, this album will be a complete success. And while introducing nothing remarkably original, it's influences are furthered and creatively built upon, rather than blatantly ripped off, like many of their modern day contemporaries.