It wasn’t until Woodstock 99: Love, Peace, & Rage that I was able to hop out of my shell and embrace who I am, or rather, who many of us are, a Limp Bizkit fan. Can you blame me (them)? They exemplified the personification of young white male rage from the angst-filled young adults looking to unwind in chaotic ways. And with the kind of topsy-turvy world we’ve been in for the last year and a half, sometimes seeing these artists/bands come back from long hiatuses has been an ethereal experience – it’s uncanny, fun, and surprising – all three personify Limp Bizkit’s new album, Still Sucks. Still Sucks is a cheeky nu-metal rap album that broadens the scopes of Fred Durst’s vocal performances while still giving us that “YEAAAH” Fred Durst we’ve come to love and appreciate, albeit being far from a great album.
Due to the heightened publicity that stemmed from the Woodstock 99 documentary, it allowed Limp Bizkit to promote it their way. Starting with the illustrious Lollapalooza, Fred Durst created an Instagram account and took on a new persona as he took us through a journey where the hypnotic “Dad Vibes” was unleashed onto the world. Donning a grey wig, dockers, and an older-tweed blazer before donning the puffy jacket, Fred is back to his old way – focusing on the tongue-in-cheek lyricism that evokes participation from the audience and amplifies the unquantifiable energy that resonates within our souls.
But Limp Bizkit knows one thing: the connection between their audience and the mentality. Due to it, a lot of the childish and comically-straight forward nu-metal has given them their own identity, only bolstered by DJ Lethal with his infectious vinyl scratches commanding the lead like on “Dirty Rotten Bizkit,” though it doesn’t take away from what the band does – bringing infectious energy on heightened bombastic songs, like on “Barnacle.” These types of songs bring out enjoyment from casuals who like some gritty righteousness and fuckery.
Still Sucks emboldens an artistic direction that quickly runs in not-so-rampant directions. There is that Bizkit-ness oozing out the seams, but Fred Durst lies to himself with odd acoustic ballads. You hear him break down the parameters of his life today, weighing on heavy subjects, and it’s where the album loses you. Two songs (“Don’t Change” and “Empty Hole”) are centered on an acoustic base for the strings, as Fred Durst laments on themes of change and love. And unironically, Limp Bizkit closes the album with their most pop sound song in some time, “Goodbye” – it weaves tender guitar riffs with subtle bass strings as the antithesis of who they are. Like Durst’s soul, it comes from a well-meaning place since he speaks on pushing away depressive thoughts and lifting your serotonin levels.
Unfortunately, Fred Durst isn’t the best vocalist – his melodies are rough, and they tend to be equivocal to stale fingernails on the chalkboard. Durst comes from the heart, and it’s something to admire, but it doesn’t work. However, it isn’t constant, and he flips the script on “You Bring Out The Worst In Me” – his melodies switch from somber to uproarious, giving fans crazy energy they’ve almost always delivered. And Wes Boreland delivers ethereal guitar riffs that shift with the tone, become the consistent highlight in these songs.
Outside of this not-so-new and always off-brand approach by Limp Bizkit has pulled them from delivering a phenomenal album from start to finish. Unfortunately, they never pick their pants up from the bootstraps and give it their all. But when they do, we are given the fun and madness that comes in the form of “Dirty Rotten Bizkit” and “Snacky Poo,” as Fred Durst gives it his best in the flow and lyricism. The former blends this elegant synergy between vocalists and instrumentalists, especially, DJ Lethal who makes it a focal point for the vinyl scratches to amplify the backing for the rest of the instruments.
Still Sucks doesn’t always suck, and sometimes you have to let loose and enjoy things as they are given – that is how Limp Bizkit rolls. Fan or not, it fits how we feel about the shift from warm to cold – we just want to let loose, warm up, and break things. Despite the score, Limp Bizkit’s new album is a thrill as Fred Durst brings dad vibes to the masses!