So, if it hasn’t become apparently obvious by now, let me break it down for you: The ride is over.
Limp Bizkit, as a group, have officially fallen apart. After leaving the band in 2001 to pursue more mature musical endeavors, Wes Borland re-entered the fold in Summer 2004 to record a modest EP, “The Unquestionable Truth,” which saw the light of day last May, and went virtually unnoticed (due to it’s “questionable” promotional method). By that time, it was a well-known fact that drummer John Otto was out of the band, mainly due to his drug-addiction and health problems. A tour was promised, but never came to fruition. Every now and then, a burp would come out of Fred’s mouth here on the net, but again, nothing. No “The Unquestionable Truth Pt. 2,” as promised. Instead, this past fall “Greatest Hitz” was released, mind you, by the record company. Despite contrary belief, “Greatest Hits” albums don’t signify a nail in the coffin (look at Korn or Green Day for that matter) but apparently in this case, it is true. Wes has abandoned the group once again to work on his new project Black Light Burns and to work with the screamo band, From First To Last. Fred has chosen to focus on his movie career (c’mon, folks, keep your laughter to yourself) so, connect the dots, it’s over.
It was fun while it lasted. I was 14 when I got my first taste of Limp Bizkit. “Three Dollar Bill Y’all” still smells like the 8th grade whenever I listen to it. While I always enjoyed the more mature, more respectable genre bands like Korn and Rage Against The Machine, I always had a soft spot for Limp Bizkit as I went through my teen years. Their popularity was a phenomenon. Before it became cool to hate Limp Bizkit, it was even cooler to rock out to brainless hits like “Faith” or “Nookie” because LB were the in-thing. Remember those “Limp Bizkit Are Better Than Everybody” shirts? Yeah, you were probably wearing one. Unfortunately, by the time Wes had originally left the band, there was no turning back. The band recruited ex-Snot axeman, Mike Smith, and released what I feel is their best effort, “Results May Vary,” but nobody cared, it hardly went platinum and nobody took their new, more mature sound seriously. At this point, everybody and their mother hated Limp Bizkit, to the point where they were being booed nightly during their 2003 tour with Korn (who ironically gave the band the jumpstart to their career).
“Greatest Hitz” reflects on those years. No “Unquestionable Truth” material here, just the expected, tried and true “hitz.” “Nookie?” Check. “Counterfeit?” Check. “Rollin’?” Check *shudders.* If you don’t own any Limp discs, and are curious for whatever reason (or are just really poor) this is a good place to scoop up all their well-known material. But to me, the best stuff from Limp Bizkit was the stuff that never made it to radio. “Don’t Go Off Wandering,” “Underneath The Gun,” “Hold On,” “No Sex” are just a few songs that I think all serious Limp Bizkit fans can agree were the true winners. I don’t know about you, but not only did I find “Rollin’” and “My Generation” embarassing, but the “Chocolate Starfish” album as a whole was outright offensive (sans a few songs), and sadly, that album’s material gets more time than any other. I like a few of the songs on here, but in my opinion, this is Limp Bizkit’s “Worst Hitz.” No, wait, “Worzt Hitz.” The three unreleased songs are actually a lot better than the Hitz. “Bittersweet Home” is quite different, a cover song that softly fuses Motley Crue’s “Home Sweet Home” with The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony.” It’s different, but good. “Why” and “Lean On Me” are “Results May Vary” leftovers, and if you enjoyed that album, you’ll love these songs.
It’s kind of sad to look at the list of these songs and think of this as the legacy LB will leave behind. I’m not the biggest Limp fan, but I always gave them a chance. Every now and then, they did win me over. They weren’t always bad. To rate their entire career using the Amazon rating system, it was three-stars (hence my rating of this album). To call their career spotty, is an understatement. The sad fact is, though, that even if Limp Bizkit records or tours again, not many people will be listening. What little of their fanbase is left is turning their backs, and it’s hard to imagine these guys packing stadiums ever again. Hell, I’d like to see ‘em live, but can’t think of one person I know who would want to accompany me. So “Greatest Hitz” truly is the nail in the coffin. It gives all the haters one last laugh, and maybe will give Fred one last buck. If you own the other albums already (and you probably do — even the haters!) then I just recommend getting the three new songs off Itunes (I did!). This collection is a little too depressing for my tastes. With all things considered, this band really should have gone out with a bigger bang.