REVIEW: BIG DUMB FACE – “Where Is Duke Lion? He’s Dead…”
If you grew up in the 90s to the early 2000s, chances are you were exposed to Limb Bizkit. Yes, we all have our skeletons in the closet and I am no different. I loved nu-metal and even though I look back and shake my head at some of the stuff I was into, I cannot discredit the musical genius in some of those records. Wes Borland, the guitar hero for Limp Bizkit. The riffs he wrote made me want to move, bang my head, go absolutely crazy and have fun.
Now imagine, Wes making his signature music outside the confines of Limp Bizkit. Imagine Wes, unleashed. That is what Big Dumb Face is. Its raw, unapologetic musical talent and eccentricities manifested through glorious noise and rhythm – all encapsulated into an undeniably funny boogie band goes to hell concept.
`Where is Duke Lion? He’s Dead…’ is exactly the kind of music that your parents would disapprove of. It’s not going to win any Grammys any time soon. It’s the album that you hide from your Dad due to its album cover. It’s the album you take over to your friends house and laugh about all the jokes and references it has. Its an album about having fun.
Let me bring the music into focus here. This record is unrelenting. It starts off with a robotic Macintosh voice program spoken word passage called “Warning”, and it instantly reminds me of “Fitter, Happier..” by Radiohead off their 1997 record, ‘OK Computer’ . Radiohead’s song was sad and depressingly true. This one is funny and silly. We instantly break into the manic and fast paced –“He Rides The Sky” a start-stop grindcore tour de force. Be careful in the moshpit with this one.
“Zagron Moth” carries the record forward in a similar tone with blast beats blasting your eardrums away. The vocals can be characterized as layered demonic voice morphed through a vocoder, and matches the tone and theme of the record. The record is peppered with segues and transitions, where you’d be listening to a quite section, that turns into a nice soothing melody, and instantly shifts into bone crunching riffs and blast beats.
“Magic Guillotine” is a stand out track for me as it’s so self-aware with lyrics like “We’ve made exactly what you asked for”. You have conversation snippets in deep voice, that will surely crack you up. Which brings us to “The Blood Maiden” which for me, by far, the most funniest thing I’ve heard on a grindcore album. I won’t say anything further. You have to hear it for yourself. In the context of the album, I’d be surprised if it doesn’t put a big smile on your face.
“Where Did All The Good Guys Go?” is an anti-ballad in the most rib-tickling way possible and makes a good satirical statement. The final track on the record is a 18 minute long free jam called “Whipping the Hodeous” and it will help you understand the sentiments of the album.
This record is Wes and Scott Borland being silly, nerdy and having a laugh. It also features some serious thought and dedication to one’s artistic vision and while this may not be the most polished or mainstream sounding record, it sure is passionate and honest in its humor.