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Andrew’s Judgmental Album Reviews: Limp Bizkit – Still Sucks (2021)

Now now, the title isn’t a hot take in the JAR, it’s actually what they called the album. Limp Bizkit hasn’t really been the most serious band (shock I know), so this is on brand. But is it any good?

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Now now, the title isn’t a hot take in the JAR, it’s actually what they called the album. Limp Bizkit hasn’t really been the most serious band (shock I know), so this is on brand. But is it any good?

Unless you’re 12, you know who Limp Bizkit is. They were very big in the late 90s and early 00s in that Nu Metal/Rap Rock genre that got popular (think Korn, Rage Against the Machine, Crazy Town, etc…). It’s been 21 years since Chocolate Covered Starfish in Hotdog Flavored Water and 10 years since their last album Gold Cobra. The original line up is back, this album apparently went through a few iterations of development hell, but instead of jockeying their fans around any longer, they released this album fully digital (to my knowledge).

So do they still suck? Have they recaptured any of the magic they made them a household name?

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – JULY 31: Sam Rivers, Wes Borland, DJ Lethal and Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit backstage at Lollapalooza 2021 at Grant Park on July 31, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)

  • Artist: Limp Bizkit
  • Album: Still Sucks (2021)
  • Label: Suretone Records
  • Total Track Time: 32:01

Out of Style starts with a bit of an evangelical sermon and a slow build before the drop D and the classic Limp aspects punch you in the mouth. We already get a little bit of the tongue in cheek humor this album was built around and Limp was known for. The lyrics feel more like stream of consciousness, the beat is a little sparse with the breakdowns being very Nu Metal style. Which I suppose is out of style in 2021? It’s a very self-aware song so I appreciate it for what it is. “It’s time to rock this motherfu- cause I’m always out of style, but my style is kinda fresh”, it’s contradictory and hilarious all in a few words. Dirty Rotten Bizkit this has a bit more of the classic sound with a lot of guitar slides, consistent drum beats and just a good song to jump in the mosh pit to. This won’t win any awards for lyrics or artistry, but it’s a great pit song, even with a cool down spot so the pit could circle before culminating in one more big collision of bodies.

Dad Vibes was the single from this song, and I heard a snippet on the radio a few weeks ago and it’s just perfect. This gives me like vibes of a dad version of Counterfeit. It’s got such a relaxed beat, and they even incorporate “La De Da” as the final portion of the chorus, and it just really works and makes for the moment when everyone would sing along. Don’t believe me? What are the words to Sweet Caroline? No…”Bum Bum Bum” are not lyrics. So see…my point. This is a chill song with an accurate title. Turn It Up, Bitch starts off like Cypress Hill and then the whole song is running down themselves being old and out of touch. Hell Fred Durst and Jonathan Davis did a whole song called All in the Family where they just ran down each other’s bands for fun. While the song itself doesn’t really go anywhere, it amuses me and moves the album along well enough. Don’t Change takes us into more of a ballad. Which I think this is a cover of the INXS song (stops to Google), ahh it is! Which checks out since they have done covers in the past, George Michael’s Faith, but most notably Behind Blue Eyes by The Who. They did well with this, and do very well with this. It’s vulnerable, it doesn’t really sound like a normal Limp song, so it was a surprising change of pace. Plus, I can’t be mad at an INXS cover unless it’s awful.

You Bring Out The Worst In Me starts out echoed and slow and then there’s a heavy bridge between slow verses of screaming and anger. Which given the lyrics of being stabbed, and bringing out the worst, it really shows the idea of the bad breaking through. It gives me a lot of Eat You Alive vibes, but it’s not bad. This album definitely feels a little all over the place, but I’m not directly mad at them trying to figure out what still works, especially with how long the album took to come out. Love the Hate continues with the songs dissing themselves. This takes the perspective of two kids just talking shit about how the band sucks, then as soon as the one admits they used to like Limp as a kid, the other guy turns on him. Like a Twitter conversation where the echo chamber is safe until something slips out and then suddenly the other person is worthless. The chorus of “Jokes on you, you missed one clue – We Don’t Give a Fuck” is very on brand and a good response for the internet crowd.

Barnacle is actually a fantastic little punk song. Only about 2 minutes long, and just does a great job at reminding me a little of Fear mixed with the heavier aspects of INXS. It’s actually a cool song. Empty Hole a simple song about when you need someone there’s no one. It definitely adds to the mixed tone of the album where it’s either classic, running themselves down or somber. Pill Popper sounds a bit like Ministry with the pharmaceutical radio announcement and then an interesting drum driven groove metal beat. Given that Durst has been more into screaming aspects of choruses in this album, the album really is sounding like Three Dollar Bill Y’all $ era of Limp at times.

Snacky Poo starts with a sound clip of just eating something from a bag, and then a very stripped down interlude beat. “I don’t need another motherfu- in my life, handing out advice, I need a snacky poo”. So this does get across the general sentiment of the album, they aren’t trying to make some world rocking revelation, they just want to help people enjoy things for a few minutes. I also appreciate the fact they’re just trying to bring back the 90s, so that’s great. The ending minute or so of Snacky Poo is beautiful. It’s a parody of a bad interview with someone calling Wes Borland and just reading off Wikipedia information and asking him if it’s true. The beauty of the awkwardness, all Wes says is Yes and Thanks, and the guy thinks it was a good interview is comedy gold.

Goodbye is probably one of the most aptly titled songs to end a song. And damn this starts off like a radio rock song. It feels really awkward given the way they approached the rest of the album with the throwback vibes, and this is so modern and radio it can only really top out at mediocre on a good day.

So Still Sucks was actually kind of an interesting ride of them embracing the fact they’re old and too stubborn to really let go of the Nu Metal sound, but that last song just sticks out like a sore thumb. Unless calling it Goodbye, was more of a legitimate “this is the last” so they went with a whole different sound cause their over; but that’s reading into possible imagery and obviously will still need to be seen. A really weak ending seems to be a similar trend in a lot of the albums this year.

All that being said, if you like Limp Bizkit, most of the album is solid and like I said earlier, it definitely gives more vibes of Three Dollar Bill, Y’all $ as opposed to any other album. Does it still suck? Nah, Limp Bizkit never sucked, you just can’t take a band seriously that doesn’t take themselves seriously. It was a nice little way to get closer to closing out the year with just some irreverent idiocy that allows for some reminiscing to the 90s. Production and everything is solid, so give a spin to the Limp, pimp.

 

Final Judgment: 7/10


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Bandwagon Nerds #114: Return of the Reverend

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Bandwagon Nerds
Bandwagon Nerds #114: Return of the Reverend

The Reverend Rey Cash returns to the Bandwagon just in time to discuss all of the latest Marvel Cinematic Universe news and rumors surrounding the upcoming Dr. Strange, Fantastic Four, and Black Panther Films! Patrick figures out why Dave doesn’t care for The Witcher season 2 in the Bandwagon’s review of season two, episode 5.  And finally, are there problems between Disney and Pixar brewing?

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Andrew’s Judgmental Album Reviews: Eliminator – Ancient Light (2022)

YO! The JAR tends to like the New Wave of British Heavy Metal sound. This band is inspired by that 80s sound and it shines brightly! Check it out!

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YO! The JAR tends to like the New Wave of British Heavy Metal sound. This band is inspired by that 80s sound and it shines brightly! Check it out!

Now this is not exactly a unique band name since I’m aware of at least two other “Eliminators”, but this one is from England and been around for about a decade. Similarly as to the first review of 2022, I was clicking around looking for something that struck my interest early on in this new year.

They are from England and stick in that Iron Maiden/Judas Priest New Wave of British Heavy Metal sound. I’m interested to see if they stick in the classic Heavy Metal sound, or if they put their own spin on it. Let’s get to the album!

  • Artist: Eliminator
  • Album: Ancient Light (2022)
  • Label: Dissonance Productions
  • Total Track Time: 50:43

Arrival it definitely strikes you in the face with that Iron Maiden kind of vibe. But the fun this about halfway through, they solo out the bass to lead into a great dueling guitar instrumental section. It doesn’t have the Maiden Gallop but it feels more like old Kill ‘Em All Metallica in the approach to how they put that together. Really rocking opening song with great guitar parts. Silent Stone opens with a very prominent Bassline complimented with just a quick guitar flair and then into more of that Maiden-esque sound. I really appreciate that the dual guitar parts are more harmonic and less lead trades. They complement each other very well and the rhythm section ties it all together beautifully. So far these first two songs feel like they were ripped out of time from Iron Maiden’s cutting room floor, but that’s not really an insult; because I’m referring to good Maiden. Like Somewhere in Time, No Prayer for the Dying, Fear of the Dark; that era. So not the 80s peak, but still notable Maiden.

Ancient Light starts a little more erratic and then goes into a slower ballad like delivery before the guitars start to drive the tone and tempo back up to the established energy level of the album. While the instrumentation really does stay in league with the band I keep referencing, the vocal tone the singer takes feels more like Geoff Tate from Queensryche until we get to a breakdown and he turns up the head voice and vocal fry usage like 80s Bruce Dickinson. Goddess of Life is the first song to really utilize that Maiden Gallop in the instrumentation. It does flip the arrangement from the last song where it starts off heavy and galloping and then really slows down to this epic moment when the guitars kick in for their duel and reignite the tempo. Only real complaint is they stay in that gallop for so much of the song, the tempo change is the only really intriguing part of the song, and the rest almost becomes a metronome boring me just a little bit. The Sculptor of the Stone Lady well they got their naming conventions from either Iron Maiden or Nightwish. So this is at least very on brand. One of my favorite aspects of these first few songs, is how audible the basslines are. They keep things moving, lock really well with the drum for the rhythm section and too often do bass parts get lost in the mix (I’m looking at you And Justice for All). This song also has a little flamenco guitar break similar to Marty Friedman’s in Holy Wars. The difference is the break actually bridges into a verse with the adjusted tempo, they come out and adjust the tempo again to the swaying almost rock anthem sounding instrumentation. I’m not gonna lie, all of the small changes really had me feeling some Dream Theater vibes, but it was all done really well. They’re just this great building flourish to one final line and then the song ends after a little more noodling. Damn fun song.

Lord of Sleep, Dreammaster someone call Dokken, we need the Dream Warriors! Not really a lot of places to go with breaking this down, the lyrics play in this high fantasy section, so it’s cool and it has many of the similar elements from previous songs with tempo changes, guitar duel and stays driving but the drummer does a much better job with fills to keep the song engaging and not hypnotizing. The Library immediately, I got some King Diamond vibes. From the simple yet ominous title to a quicker opening before steering back into the ominous haunted feeling. But the guitar tone while still very Maiden, reminds me more of like a Welcome Home. And when it picks back up about 2/3rds of the way through the song, again that Maiden/Diamond mixture really just resonates with me. It’s a well put together song and paints great imagery. Mercy definitely using much more vocal fry technique, this sounds more like later 90s Dickinson where it’s going for a heavier tone instead of the grandiose epic vibe. While not bad, the lyrics not being overly enunciated for the sake of using fry and the instrumentation not being anything creative, it falls into that ‘kinda boring’ vein.

Foreverless so a made up word is either going to be a poignant song, or irritating. While it takes about 50 seconds for the lyrics to kick in, it switches things up 2 or 3 times and then goes into a straight Iron Maiden epic sound. We mean like more current Maiden, Benjamin Breeg comes to mind. But they keep the rhythm rocking, the drum crashes and fills mixed with a proper amount of falsetto and fry actually do drive this song well. It’s pretty cool when we get about halfway to a small guitar solo before the story of the song switches to more of the Maiden gallop and what could be interpreted as a glorious resolution. The Nightmare of Aeon let’s see if they are using Aeon to mean life or if they’re just really big fans of Final Fantasy 10. This takes a demonic almost approach, with church bells, a trudging tempo and what sounds like drowned out choral backing vocals. So it’s really hammering down on the dark and foreboding vibe. We get a nearly listless feeling from the guitar solo as it bridges the verses together. We go from an implied spiral to slowly picking up steam back into the Maiden-esque gallop and power, even with an audible fret slide. Hitting the last line if “Nightmare of aeon…” as the song just fades is a nice touch.

So I’ve seen a couple comments and I can’t help but agree; that this album is what Senjutsu could have been. We get the Iron Maiden album we deserved last year. Eliminator does a great job at not dragging on too long, even songs that had that longer epic feel, quickly came to fruition with the longest song being Foreverless at 6:31. That may not sound short, but when current Maiden likes 9+ minute songs…6 and change is short as hell. But what does this all mean? The album is really damn good. I may have started to get a little bored at times, but nothing was egregious or terrible.

With all that said, if you like Iron Maiden you’ll love this band. Give it a spin!

 

Final Judgment: 8.1/10


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