Now I'm a notoriously broad-minded guy.Over-generous, some might say (I cringe as I recall a relatively positive albumreview I once gave Bryan Adams). What's more, I can see the value in mostmusic, even if it's not my particular cup of tea. Because whatever I might haveto say in a critical capacity, those guys and gals are up there, putting theirtripes on the line to entertain bozos like me. They deserve a crumb of credit.
But I draw the line at Limp Bizkit.
Lumpen, melody-free, offensive, aggressive in a badway, this was music so value-free that it ceased to qualify as music at all.Somehow Limp Bizkit combined the worst aspects of hip-hop and heavy metal inone testosterone-sodden plod. It was as if someone had taken the smell of aWrestleMania locker room and somehow molded it into some records. If there wasone mitigating factor it was the Buckethead weirdness of guitarist Wes Borland.But he hated being in Limp Bizkit nearly as much as I hated listening to them--perhapsmore. Their ultimate badness was summarized in the title of their third record,Chocolate Starfish & The Hot-DogFlavored Water, officially The Worst Album Title Of All Time.
Frontman Fred Durst's bellicose worldview--No-onelikes me, and by the way, F*** you!--was reflected in songs like "Break Stuff"and "Nookie," and while it would be unjust to make his band entirelyresponsible for the bad vibes that swirled constantly around them, the violencethat marred their Woodstock '99 performance is a matter of record, as is theAustralian coroner's critical comments in the wake of the tragic moshpit deathof teenage rock fan Jessica Michalik at 2001'sBig Day Out. Now I'm not suggesting every band play as nice as this,but is there really a place in 2009 for Limp Bizkit's knuckle-draggingnonsense?
Because it's not just the music, bad though thatundoubtedly was. Remember Durst's constant fight-picking with other bands, histactics as a label boss,and his ungentlemanly revelations regarding his intimacy with Britney Spears? They allsuggested a man with problems he'd do well to discuss with a professional, but that'sno reason to burden us--the long-suffering public--all over again.
Indeed. Enduring nu-metal--and its hairy,carb-loaded fratpals sports-metal and rap-metal--was bad enough at the time, astransatlantic culture surfed a wave of late-'90s prosperity. But for LimpBizkit to return right now, just as the Credit Crunch really takes the glovesoff, is almost absurdly sadistic--like that scene in the Woody Allen movie TakeThe Money & Run, where Woody is sentenced to a 10-stretch in chokey, thenthe judge takes his glasses off and stamps on them.
Here again, for those of you who were looking theother way in horror, is how founder members Fred Durst and his new best friendWes Borland justified their return to the scene of the crime.
"We decided we were more disgusted andbored with the state of heavy popular music than we were with each other.Regardless of where our separate paths have taken us, we recognize there is apowerful and unique energy with this particular group of people we have notfound anywhere else. This is why Limp Bizkit is back."
First, "heavy popular music"? WTFIT?Secondly, shouldn't that be "powerful and unique money"? And thirdly, aren'tthey admitting that they are, at least to some degree, "disgusted and boredwith each other"? Is that a sturdy, non-cynical platform upon which to relaunchthemselves, or rather a typical fungoo sign to their fans by the most charmlessband of all time?
Limp Bizkit used to come out of a gianttoilet bowl on stage. Couldn't they just crawl right back in there, and flush?