It’s finally here. The album that has been teased and in the works for 8ish years, formerly titled Stampede of the Disco Elephants, is finally released in its full form a decade after Limp Bizkit’s last album. It has somehow remained one of the most anticipated album releases in rock for years now, and not just by me, so let’s see if it lives up to the lofty expectations!
‘Out of Style’s lyrics perfectly encapsulate what I’m sure the band and their fans were worried about before the album’s release, that they wouldn’t be all that relevant anymore. As soon as Wes Borland’s insane, heavy riff comes in though all of that is immediately forgotten, reminding everyone how good the band can be. Fred Durst actually sings the first verse on the album which was pretty shocking, especially when the instrumentation dropped down to a quieter, slower part, but it still sounded good. Then the riff kicks back in for the massively catchy chorus and it feels like we’re back in 2000 again. A great little guitar-led bridge part leads to a second verse that reminds me of the middle part of ‘Eat you Alive’, easily one of LB’s most underrated tracks. Said part leads to another chorus before it finishes off with a stripped-back half with just drums and vocals before the rest of the band joins in for the last half. A good start to the album and while maybe not the biggest impact they could have made after a decade away, it still hit well!
Wes’ criminally underrated guitar work continues with ‘Dirty Rotten Bizkit’ and another AWESOME, heavy opening riff. It’s clear just how inspirational the band is, as said riff easily could have sat nicely on any Skindred album. The rest of the track is classic Bizkit, and it’s glorious. Heavy guitaring, ridiculous lyrics, a HUGE chorus, and some surprisingly great rapping from a white guy in his 50s. I’m not gonna say anything more about this track other than CHECK IT OUT, no matter who you are, it’s good. It made out Track of the Week on Instagram and also made it into our best of the year playlist, which you can find here.
The track that renewed the hype for new music, ‘Dad Vibes’ is just as ridiculous no matter how many times I hear it. It has no right to be good, the lyrics are terrible and it’s basically nothing but the rapping and another infectiously good guitar riff… but I love it. ‘So damn clean he a mop’ and ‘Dad so sweet that his nickname candy’ are unironically some of my favourite lyrics of the year. For a band that doesn’t take itself too seriously, this is great. And the Eminem-esque ‘la la’ bit in the middle is also awesome. Playlisted!
Now I understand that the next track may not be for everyone, but I loved ‘Turn it Up, Bitch’. There’s not much nu-metal about it, it’s a lot more of just a hip-hop track, but damn if it isn’t catchy as anything. Wes isn’t even in the track at all, it’s just an infectiously good, repeating bassline and the same drumbeat behind it, with Freddy D spitting some ridiculous yet pretty great and catchy lyrics over the top of it all. Heck, even the lady’s voice they put in before the first chorus fit and it worked with the song perfectly. Another fantastic song.
Next up we get the first dud of the album, ‘Don’t Change’. Now, I am one of the seemingly very few people who don’t mind the band’s cover of ‘Behind Blue Eyes’, and I am not against a good ballad or cover, but this wasn’t great. In fact, no, it’s not terrible, but it isn’t what I want from Limp Bizkit. As I said before, I understand the band has gotten on a bit and may want to mature as songwriters, but after ten years of waiting, I don’t want to hear Fred Durst sing over an acoustic guitar. I want crazy, bouncy metal riffs and some ridiculous rapping. It unfortunately immediately holts the momentum of a so far amazing album, and isn’t as good as the original INXS version.
‘You Bring out the Worst in Me’, however, is a quick return to form. Reminding me of something like ‘Stuck’ or ‘Nookie’ in its arrangement of soft verse and a heavy chorus, it makes ‘You Bring Out…’s chorus VERY heavy. It starts slow but the bassline is a particular highlight throughout the verses, Sam Rivers being another example of an underrated player. The choruses are also the first time we hear Durst scream on the album, showing that he very much still has it 20 years later! We even get an awesome (if basic) guitar solo in here from Wes, the slowness and feeling fitting the song perfectly. Another fantastic, classic style LB song.
‘Love the Hate’ might as well be an interlude, it being two minutes of spoken word between Fred and someone else. I couldn’t quite tell who the other person was and Google was no help other than suggesting Fred was playing both roles, so I’ll leave it up to interpretation. The track is hilarious though, the entire track being the same riff from the instruments while the voices just slag off the band. The fact that the word ‘Fredache’ was invented just for this song makes me happier than it should and is just one example of the kind of stupid yet rather entertaining humour contained within the track. I won’t be going back to it much, but it’s at least entertaining!
‘Barnacle’ somehow transports me back to the 90s more than any other track so far. Is it just me who gets major Nirvana vibes from the song? Even Soil at times too, which is at least closer to the band’s usual sound! The screamed chorus was pretty good and catchy, but outside of that, this sounds pretty basic and messy. It’s punk AF but not one of the stronger points on the album. Speaking of not strong points, a second acoustic song made its way onto the album in the form of ‘Empty Hole’. It’s somehow exactly the same as the first one, while also being worse. LB is not the sort of band for acoustic ballads, as much as they keep trying. The members should do solo projects if they want to do this boring stuff, and just do fun rapping/heavy stuff with Bizkit, in my opinion.
‘Pill Popper’ at least gets things back off to the heaviness again, but reminds me a lot of ‘Barnacle’. It’s another punk-feeling track. However, the riff for the chorus is one of the best and heaviness on the album, and something I HAVE to see live. The verses are pretty entertaining, focusing around the drumbeat for Durst to rap over, but the chorus is definitely where it is at with this track. The breakdown at the end is pretty sweet too, and heavy as anything.
‘Snacky Poo’ is an odd one, because the track is four minutes but the actual song is only two, with the rest taken up by a mock interview between Durst and Borland. The track itself is a straight-up rap song, and not especially a good one, and the interview doesn’t even come across as that funny or entertaining at all. An odd addition to an album that has been VERY front-loaded, unfortunately.
Unfortunately (but unsurprisingly at this point), the closing track ‘Goodbye’ isn’t really that great of a Limp Bizkit track, either. I worded that very carefully; as it IS a good track… if it was written by Justin Timberlake. However, this is Limp Fuckin’ Bizkit, not a pop band. It somehow feels the most out of place on the album, even though there have now been three acoustic tracks on here. It was an okay song, but so different that it felt like a different band. And y’all know me, I clamour for bands to mix it up through their records, but this was ridiculous. Man, this album really fizzled out halfway through, what a shame.
Overall: This was one of the most mixed bag albums I have ever heard, from a quality but also genre perspective. There were some fantastic, old-school Limp Bizkit tracks on here like ‘Dirty Rotten Bizkit’, ‘You Bring Out…’, and even ‘Turn it Up, Bitch’, but there were too many acoustic tracks and meh ones holding it back from being all-round awesome. It’s such a shame too because I was PUMPED when I listened to the first half of the album. Did it live up to the expectations and hype? Probably not, but it wasn’t a bad album by any stretch.
The Score: 7/10
Did you enjoy our review? Why don’t you check out our reaction of the track ‘Dad Vibes’ from our Instagram here.