Posted on
27.07.11

8.41pm, Wednesday: Worried about the future of the music industry. Tired of being 'that guy' who makes pithy one-liners about its decline on a Tumblr. Decide to play 'Incubattle' to try and stop popular alternative rock band Incubus's album If Not Now, When? from leaking.

Notice a link above the play-screen. There is a link saying "Download the new Incubus album". Add Incubus themselves to the "Suspect List" of my A4 refill and continue.

8.45pm: Dialogue on the bottom of the title screen between two "Bros" informs me that what I am about to play is a super-rare video-game cartridge from back in the day featuring that sick band Incubus. I am encouraged to press X to 'slam it in'. As a third bro in this conversation (an ingenious use of the audience as participant, how Brechtian) I do so.

8.48pm: First screen of gameplay is the bros from Incubus in what appears to be their chillout space. Much like I might, they decorate this precious musicianship space with posters saying 'INCUBATTLE' and 'SONY MUSIC'.

8.51pm: 'The Man' walks in. "Bad news, guys! Pirates have stolen the new record! Get out there and stop them!" Want to rebel against the man, but I can't, the game won't let me. I have chosen "Chris". Wikipedia tells me Chris is the turntablist and scratcher for the rock band Incubus. The year is 2011.

8.54pm: I am on the mean streets of Incubus city. The pause button stops working the moment you click away from the game which is incredibly frustrating. I, and by I, I mean Chris, am being attacked by a Caucasian pirate. An actual pirate, not a 14-year old that downloads Incubus and has never been assaulted in his life. Feels a bit weird, being a white person playing a black person being assaulted by a white person. Hope playing Incubattle as Chris will do for race-relations today what John Howard Griffin managed to do 50 years ago.

8.56pm: I have just beaten three pirates to death. They explode in a starburst of vinyl records and cassettes when I do this. Feeling less comfortable about racial implications of game.

9.00pm: Now I can pick up cans and throw them at the pirates. This is actually kind of fun, but totally pointless. But I can be all like "It's time to take out the trash (my old Incubus CD's)". I keep getting hit but my health never goes down. This game is pretty unfair on the pirates.

9.05pm: Takes forever to kill things and it hardly ever lets me advance through what appears to be an endless and unchanging plain. It's like if Samuel Beckett did some raps for Incubus back in the day. Chris is being followed a mysterious doppleganger too, which is obviously a worry, and theoretically an impossibility for a unique musician such as he. OH FUCK NOW THERE'S LIKE SEVENTY PIRATES.

9.08pm: Have died twice due to sudden and inexplicable influx of pirates and am on my last life when I accidentally close the tab trying to check Pitchfork to see whether If Not Now, When made Best New Music. Feel frustrated at my browser, my own clumsiness, but most of all, the pirates.

Email Epic Music the following:

(Play Incubattle right here, or you can just go "suck my kiss", as they once sang. LOL!)