The nu-metal veterans left their long-time label Interscope around this time, to eventually join Cash Money Records; and the initial stand-alone single “Ready To Go” with LIL WAYNE was hugely encouraging, but despite a few sparse, random releases, the band seemingly lost all sense of direction and momentum and for all intents and purposes, they disappeared.
Now we find ourselves in 2021, and oh how the times have changed. While they were once world beaters, chart topping titans of the alternative music scene...they became a joke in the eyes of the metal community. A musical meme if you will, and at best they turned into a guilty pleasure. Lost in the youthful, angst-ridden memories of days gone by, we thought we’d seen the last of the Bizkit. Oh, how we were wrong. On October 31st, Halloween of all occasions, they dropped the long-awaited album, under the new title of “Still Sucks”. With the time of year, we have to ask ourselves, will this be a trick, or a treat, and more importantly, did they ever truly suck to begin with? Let’s find out...
The album opens up with “Out Of Style” and a surprisingly philosophical intro, as Fred Durst’s first words are “We cannot change the past, but we CAN start today, to make a better tomorrow”, which sounds like he’s ready to sweep everything under the carpet. Wes Borland’s guitars here sound really dirty and disjointed, and it’s clear the suggestion of the track here is, all this time later, the band still sound unlike any other band on the planet; they're never IN style.
Their unique approach to rock, metal and rap creatively was what sold them millions of records in the first place, and with nobody else doing it as well as Bizkit, then OR since, they were as out of style when they exploded then, as they are now all these years later, and they stand out all the more for it. It may double as a dig at the nu-metal genre as a whole, and the lack of respect it generally gets from the average metal fan, with pleading lines like “We should be on the same team, on the motherfucking same team, if we aint’ then we nothing”, it highlights the toxicity in the metal community.
We have to talk about “Dad Vibes” ...this was the track that got everyone talking about Limp Bizkit again recently, as the band dropped it during a live show out of the blue, giving people the first hint at new music for a long time. Technically the albums lead single if you will, it’s underwhelming with its basic hip-hop aesthetic, with cymbal-rich percussion and only light guitar aspects, and to be honest more attention was paid to Fred Dursts appearance. Yes, it's all tongue in cheek as, now in his 50’s, Durst dressed up as uncool as possible to rap on stage, embracing how supposedly silly or cringeworthy people may think Bizkit are today, with the track acting like one giant metaphorical middle finger.
These vibes as such are a general theme for this record as a whole, which at this point revels in its sense of self-depreciating irony. “Barnacle” is an incredibly catchy piece of grunge-heavy hard rock potentially aimed at bandwagon jumpers and those who hate on the band purely because it’s cool, you’re all barnacles, clinging on to whatever might be relevant. “Don’t Change” then harks back to their cover of “Behind Blue Eyes” with another wonderfully soft acoustic piece. The style really works for them as this proves yet again, and the mellow, gentler sound here is genuinely lovely. “Love The Hate” directly targets the naysayers with an incredibly self-aware cringe-riddled piece of back-and-forth rap. The whole track is cosplaying as the same fans who hate on the band, and with more than a mountain of irony they put themselves down while reminding you how little they care for your opinion. Absolute zero fucks given, the true Limp Bizkit way.
In summation, that’s probably the best way to approach this album. Yes, it’s been a long time, and yes, we all know that Limp Bizkit can drop some absolute bangers, but if that’s what you’re going into this album looking for, then you’re going to be disappointed. I truly believe, the level of self-awareness that pebbledashes this album from start to finish is beyond intentional...as much as people slate the band, as irrelevant as people suggest the band are now, in less than a week the album has racked up millions of listens and streams having had zero promotion due to the fact, nobody fucking knew it was coming out. The interest and excitement was organic, and proved without a doubt, there will always be place in the world for Limp Bizkit. Will they follow this up with a more crafted, polished, serious album? Who knows, but let’s get one thing straight...Limp Bizkit have never sucked, and that is the unquestionable truth...which...wait that actually sucked. Damnit.