If nothing else, Fred Durst is certainly an astute entrepreneur. In the last two years, he has succeeded in making his band Limp Bizkit a household name, virtually taken over at Interscope Records, directed movies, and become steadily richer every step of the way.
However, after a recent line up change, a rumoured breakdown, cancelled shows and a scrapped new album, his empire has been teetering precariously upon a knife edge.
Never one to take anything lying down – apart from Britney, Christina, Pamela, and now Hallé Berry (allegedly) – Fred sought to patch up bad feelings and reclaim his crown by laying on a free summer festival in London’s Finsbury Park on the eve of the revamped new album’s release. Blatant PR stunt it may have been, but a very successful stunt none the less, proving that for every Bizkit-hater out there, there are at least three who love their self-appointed leader.
Results May Vary? Well, the jumbled mix of songs and styles on their fourth studio album certainly gives full explanation to the album’s title. Produced by Terry Date (of Pantera and Deftones fame) with a very drum-heavy mix, there are 17 tracks comprising of jock moshing anthems, acoustic ballads, and even an appalling collaboration with Snoop Doggy Dogg.
Many tracks are the formulaic rap / rock combo that first thrust Bizkit into the limelight, of which Gimmie The Mic is probably the best and Phenomenon, with its pathetic bass groove verses and weak chorus, is most definitely the worst.
New guitarist Mike Smith’s own chic certainly shines through on songs like Underneath The Gun, and Let It Go, which have a more grown-up, nu-metal feel to them, in both sound and subject. However, this is not to say that Durst and company have shed their frat-boy skins for there are still riot-inciting anthems a-plenty (Head For The Barricade etc.) to ensure that even the butchest of metal-heads gets a gruelling workout.
Unsurprisingly, the creation of the best written song on the album had nothing to do with the poster boys of nu-metal. Penned by The Who‘s Pete Townsend, Behind Blue Eyes is an acoustic ballad which suggests Mr Durst has been listening to too much Everlast. Bringing it all up to date with a Linkin Park-ish beat breakdown midway, there is no doubt that royalties from this soon to be gargantuan single will go a long way towards easing Townsend’s outstanding legal bills.
Ultimately, this album is neither crap nor blindingly good, and results do indeed vary. Alas, none of the new offerings match the strength of Take A Look Around, comedy value of Faith or possess the infectious bounce of Rollin’. Should we therefore ask how long the Bizkit lads will hold on to their Peter Pan outlook to life or simply shut up, get in the mosh pit and wait for the brutal intro to Break Stuff?