A musical UFO hailing from Beirut, Lebanon, The Incompetents are the brainchild of “incompetent” singer/songwriter Serge Yared, who teamed up with guitar wiz and sound engineer Fadi Tabbal to create a brilliant songwriting team based on complementarity: musically illiterate/inept Yared gives birth to deformed pop songmonsters that Tabbal manages to stitch up and mold into songs. Add to that the fact that their music isn’t their livelihood, and what you get is bold, fascinating, theatrical and dangerously self-indulgent songs that (perhaps not so) incidentally end up being frighteningly human.
Self-avowed music nerds Yared and Tabbal take elements from a wide range of artists and add quite a few ideas of their own to brew their songs, which they record with the help of talented musicians. Yared yelps, rattles, whispers, screams and sings, channeling Captain Beefheart, Tom Waits, Nico, Scott Walker, Lou Reed, etc while Tabbal and the band weave melodies and textures of dissonance and noise into whimsical arrangements that lead or follow Yared wherever, whenever. In the process they manage to turn the tense destructive energy of their notoriously turbulent country into raw and palpable songs.
This is music kneaded with doubts, self-diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, that seeks to eat itself up then spit itself out again, and in doing so, manages to get strangely close to grasping and reflecting the immense complexity of what it is to be human.