Record Review 

In this era of lowered expectations, it's tough to imagine anyone eagerly anticipating a solo project from Limp Bizkit's manic lead guitarist Wes Borland. So when this sour mix of sub-Ministry techno-aggression, secondhand Ween songwriting and annoying, pitch-shifted vocals spews out of the speakers, who's gonna be disappointed?

Probably Bizkit fans, whose idea of a good time is the meandering, narcissistic rap-rock of Fred Durst's money machine. Replacing the singer's rage with a shambling blend of plundering agro-tech and quirky acoustic interludes makes for a confusing cut-and-paste semi-musical experience.

The concept -- if you can even consider it such -- gels most effectively on "Fightin' Stance," where the helium-high and heavy metal-low voices join for a sub-Zappa styled concoction that is about as successful as this album gets.

But things really deteriorate on the obnoxious and insulting final 15 minutes, where Borland wastes our time with a tedius collage of sprawling noises (complete with what seems like real puking) that's as pointless and unlistenable an exercise in self-serving masturbatory claptrap as I've ever experienced. It's also an insult to the Bizkit fans who -- even with marginal expectations -- have every right to hope for a partially professional approach from this ill-advised solo project.

But that's what you get from polishing a turd and expecting something other than hot dog-flavored water. The joke's on us, and it's not funny. In fact, it's a big, dumb slap in the face.

Big dumb Face plays the Masquerade Sat., March 31.


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