`Big Dumb’ is Aptly Named

Meredith Kammerer

Wes Borland (the freak/guitarist who usually wears makeup in Limp Bizkit) has branched out on his own with Big Dumb Face, a new group whose debut recording is “Duke Fights the Lion Terror.”

This new release by the notoriously weird guitarist is also written, performed, engineered, and produced by Borland (it’s likely that no one else wants to be legally associated with this mess). He gets by with a little help from his friends, mainly those over at Flip Records, who just so coincidentally include Limp Bizkit on their artist line up.

It’s a shame that this album isn’t as good as it could be. Externally, there are plenty of promising signs: homemade cover art, clever song titles such as “Mighty Penis Laser,” and live band mates who take on “The Cardboard Urinal,” as one of four, fun stage names. But, unlike predecessors Gwar and Green Jelly (or Jello, for hardcore fans), “Big Dumb Face,” lacks the few things that make mock rock such fun.

The first element needed for any costumed heavy metal spoof band is an album theme. Big Dumb Face’s chosen theme is also the album title. Like Gwar and Green Jelly, there is usually just one song that refers to the main theme and the following songs are just a mishmash of metal and whatever shocking images that can be summoned up. Where Gwar is utterly disgusting and comical, Big Dumb Face is just boring and pathetic.

Not only are the lyrics stupid and one-sided, but the back up music is also no indication of how talented Wes Borland really is. It’s sad because his contributions to Limp Bizkit are crucial and noteworthy and here, on his own, the outcome is just mediocre.

The one glimmer of fun on this album is “Robot.” It’s short, quick, and simple. Borland’s distorted vocals (which permeate this album) reach a climax at the end. “Thank you Robot,” finishes this unusually funny song.

There is promise for Big Dumb Face. Their live shows may take up the slack of the record. People don’t buy Gwar albums just because the songs are shocking; they reminisce on the last live show they came out of covered in fake blood. Maybe if Big Dumb Face takes a few pointers from the elaborately decked out Gwar, they can just pull through. Wes Borland has it in him. He is a great performer and entertaining while on stage with Limp Bizkit.

Don’t go searching for this album. Go get Ween’s “Pure Guava,” or Gwar’s “Scumdogs of the Universe.” Both feature the foundation of insane, yet utterly intelligent lyrics and themes that “Duke Lion Fights the Terror” misses.