The Unquestionable Truth (Part 1)
aters. Isn’t it annoying when they get it right? It’d be nice to think that maybe people would give Fred Durst the benefit of the doubt (lets face it, it’s only him and his mouth that most people have issues with) for once. After a relatively lengthy and reasonably quiet hiatus with a now reformed original line-up the band are back to…I don’t know….kick our collective bitch ass butts.
The Limp appear to be making some sort of stand with this seven-track concept mini-LP. But under the guise of protesting societies ills, this is, lyrically at least, simply another reel in the “Fred vs.” files. The awful thing is that Limp Bizkit are actually a technically and musically proficient band capable of some great adrenaline-rush inducing performances, catchy hooks, and heavy beats, but the players will always be in Durst’s lyrical shadow. Bassist Sam Rivers shines especially brightly on “The Propaganda” (all the songs are named “The... [Insert word/issue]”) his driving melodic lines filling the gap of a rhythm guitar player; it’s not that he’s underrated, it’s more like “He’s in Limp Bizkit. Why bother listening to rate him at all?” It can drive a fan of the music to biliousness thinking how Durst pulls the rest of the band down. But, then again, where would they be without him?
Being an unrepentant lover of Three Dollar Bill, Y’all for its mash up of Slayer / Korn riffs and sloppy Funkdoobiest-ripped rhyme style, it soon became a quick descent into repetition and inconsequentiality for the band. With only an occasionally kicking track (“Rollin’” and “Break Stuff”) since 1997 and Results May Vary being outstanding only for its total lack of anything outstanding, it looked like their goose was cooked. And, with this release, the recent Limp Against The Machine jokes are totally warranted, both because of the fairly large debt to owed to De La Rocha's vocal style (see "The Story" and "The Propaganda"s intro) and the fact that Durst's outbursts will do as much good against the system as would slapping a flaccid penis against the walls of the Pentagon. The cod-communistic death camp artwork doesn’t help matters with its tacky political poster chic—it’s probably the cheapest looking piece of LP design I’ve seen in a long time.
Part 1 is more miss than hit, with the misses having taken the hit’s lunch money, given him a wedgie, and peed all over their library books. As ever, its returned guitarist Wes Borland who provides the focusing fire with his furious story-high guitar work and it’s “The Truth” where all the elements come together for the album’s only real great track. On it, Borland teases us with neon tones building with a circular bass line and DJ Lethal’s atmospherics before the chugging roaring riff is dropped like a ton weight. Durst’s stilted cadence manages to produce a single decent line (“Imagine the insults a blessing / Imagine accepting the truth”) amongst a litany of crimes against pencils and paper without sinking the song. The lyrics throughout, though, are atrocious and rarely offer anything other than a brief angry perspective. “The Priest”s attempted air of menace isn’t strong enough to bear the weight of Durst’s religion rant, in which he expresses his desire to become a man of the cloth and live a sinful life under the protection of a religious institution. There may be a valid point in there somewhere, but his wincing ‘wordplay’ and desperate pleas for evil priests to stop fucking kids shows him unable to do anything but trivialise the issue into a one-dimensional Jerry Springer segment.
Even when they fall back on their love of hip-hop with “The Key” and inject it with a twisted buzzing distant guitar line, Durst lays the most obvious key / door metaphors of all time, like he’s the first person to ever think of the concept. Thankfully it’s under a minute and a half long. Listening, writing, and summing up The Unquestionable Truth (Part 1) has me thinking like a broken record (much like Fred).
While many will come to this mini-LP, or avoid it, with their preconceptions of what Limp Bizkit are, it’s a shame that the band won’t be taking advantage of Borland’s return by proving anyone wrong (either with something new or with something good). Maybe Part II’s for that.
Reviewed by: Scott McKeating
Reviewed on: 2005-05-17