5 takeaways from Limp Bizkit’s new album ‘Limp Bizkit Still Sucks’
As music snobbery becomes increasingly outdated, it seems like almost everything deemed "uncool" in the past gets re-evaluated as new generations of fans/critics come of age and declare there was merit to the things the previous generation mocked or ignored. Still, when Limp Bizkit entered the Online Music Discourse in 2021 -- thanks to the trifecta of the Woodstock '99 documentary on HBO, a set at Lollapalooza, and Fred Durst's new dad look -- there was a loud group of people furious at the idea that Limp Bizkit could have ever possibly been a good band. Other nu metal bands like Slipknot, Korn, System Of A Down, and Deftones have been welcomed into the modern rock canon without much pushback, but people were drawing the line at Limp Bizkit.
Meanwhile, Limp Bizkit have capitalized on all the publicity by releasing their first album in 10 years, one that's been in the works ever since their ill-fated deal with Cash Money Records in 2012. And much like Eve 6 willed their way into becoming a likable band by clowning themselves on Twitter, Limp Bizkit have made an album that feels impossible to hate because they themselves are in on the joke. Here are five takeaways from it.
1. Limp Bizkit love the hate
The album's called Limp Bizkit Still Sucks, and its mission statement is a song called "Love the Hate." The verses feature Fred Durst playing a character who hates Fred Durst (but reveals in the second verse that he liked Limp Bizkit as a kid), and the chorus is this: "Joke's on you, you missed one clue: we don't give a fuck. From what I see, you always do." It's a little surface-level, but it's also very self-aware, and they have a point: the haters seem to talk about this band more than anybody. Critics will moan that nobody should be taking this band seriously, but even Limp Bizkit don't seem to be taking themselves seriously, and it's hard not to wonder if they ever even did. Were "Break Stuff" and "Nookie" actually sincere, or was Fred Durst in on the joke the whole time?
2. Wes Borland is still the cool one
With track titles like "Out of Style," "Dirty Rotten Bizkit," and "Snacky Poo," Limp Bizkit Still Sucks reminds you that nobody is as good at making fun of Limp Bizkit as Limp Bizkit are at making fun of themselves. At the end of "Snacky Poo," there's a mock interview with guitarist Wes Borland -- the "cool" member who famously doesn't like his own band's music that much -- and the interviewer asks Wes if it's true that his favorite bands are Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Holy Fuck, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, The Haxan Cloak, Ween, and Aphex Twin. "Yeah," Wes shrugs. It's Wes himself poking fun at the whole "Wes is cool" narrative, but it's also kind of amazing that all those names are dropped on a new Limp Bizkit album in 2021.
3. Limp Bizkit still like covering very-non-metal songs
Two of Limp Bizkit's biggest hits were covers of very-non-metal songs (George Michael's "Faith" and The Who's "Behind Blue Eyes"), and maybe Limp Bizkit are hoping for lightning to strike again with this album's acoustic cover of INXS' "Don't Change." It feels unlikely that it'll happen again (but who knows?), but maybe their motives weren't so cynical. It's actually one of three acoustic songs on the album (the other two are "Empty Hole" and "Goodbye"); maybe Limp Bizkit are just into this kinda thing now.
4. The rap songs are the best songs
The "event album" aspect of Limp Bizkit Still Sucks overshadows the music itself, which is funny at best, dumb at worst, and mostly just aggressively average. There aren't any offensively bad songs, but there's also nothing with the widespread appeal of Limp Bizkit's Y2K-era hits. It has a lot of songs that channel the same rap rock sound Limp Bizkit had two decades ago, one that sounds like Limp Bizkit doing a Nirvana impression ("Barnacle"), and a couple straight-up rap songs that avoid rock/metal entirely ("Turn It Up, Bitch" and "Snacky Poo"). Fred Durst's lyrics are dumb and as a rapper his skillset is pretty limited, but the rap songs are actually the moments when Limp Bizkit Still Sucks sounds best. A common trend for nu metal bands was to tone down the rapping over time, but Limp Bizkit leaning into that side of them is smart in an era when nu metal's influence on current rap is very visible, and Fred Durst sounds like he's having the most fun in those moments.
5. Limp Bizkit really commit to the bit
Limp Bizkit aren't the first band to make fun of themselves with an album title, but Limp Bizkit really commit to the bit throughout the album too. The whole thing feels like an elaborate post-modern joke, and I don't know if I'd listen to it twice, but it's more fun to talk about than it would've been if they actually tried (and inevitably failed) at releasing another Significant Other.
So, do Limp Bizkit still suck? I don't know, but they're still interesting, and I don't know how many people saw that coming.