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Results May Vary
Limp Bizkit are back—or rather, the Fred Durst machine is back. Their fourth, boldly titled album bears the marks of Durst’s unquenchable enthusiasm. He produced seven of the tracks on his own, directed the video for “Eat You Alive,” and designed and conceptualized the album’s art (Durst’s screaming face, in green). Somehow, he also found time to hook up with Carmen Elektra and Britney Spears (though not at the same time).
Durst has done a fine job doling out just enough anger for his audience of thirteen- and fourteen-year-old boys with skateboards. “Gimme The Mic” sounds like “Break Stuff,” which for this album represents a highlight. But the ballads “Build A Bridge” and “Down Another Day” are limp at best—at worst, they’re pale imitations of Staind.
Heavier songs like “The Only One” and the first single “Eat You Alive” simply try too hard to be convincingly positive or angst-ridden. The songs aren’t that bad; it’s just that we’ve heard it all before, three albums in a row.
The back of the album booklet reads “Listen once daily—results may vary. May cause emotional reaction” in all caps. But being a near-clone of their past works, the only reaction you’ll experience from Results May Vary is the rage Fred shows on the cover, a rage only appeased when the CD player is switched off.
—Daniel M. S. Raper
Logic Will Break Your Heart
Recent buzz band The Stills serve up a compelling but unremarkable slice of modern rock on their debut full-length, following recent albums from bands (Pretty Girls Make Graves, Interpol) paying obvious homage to the 80s post-punk era.
Not that there’s anything necessarily wrong with that. Sparkling guitars and lightly-brushed cymbals litter the album’s complex compositions, and the smooth delivery from lead singer Tim Fletcher weaves in and out of the guitar lines, evoking something like dark, rainy nights on a highway—or perhaps just early 1986. “Lola Stars and Stripes” features guitar squalls and staccato bleats that reveal the Stills’ influences and their subscription to the current New York school of well-dressed hipsters. “Lola, no, we’re never going to make it through,” moans Fletcher over hopeful and shimmering atmospherics. Too bad the lyric is a token irony, and a clichéd one at that.
The album’s immediate highlight and cheapest thrill is the lead single, the throbbing “Still In Love Song,” where distorted vocals (strongly reminiscent of The Stills’ current tour partners, Echo and the Bunnymen) drone over a jaunty bass line. At their worst, as on the nearly self-parodying “Animals & Insects,” the band suffer from monotony—without memorable hooks, the songs are unspectacular, and the throbbing, annoyingly persistent bass longs for a change of pace. As another entry in a growing aesthetic of modern rock, this album holds its ground, but in no way is it destined to become a classic debut. —Christopher A. Kukstis
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