It was back in 1999 when we had gotten ourselves an AIWA music system (2200W) that had sound that we had actually never heard before. And so fittingly the best cassette that I apparently bought till then had to be played on that system after an year. It had then cost me Rs. 125/- and I was praying for the sound to be something good. I snuck the cassette in the player and waited for the first 18-20 seconds. And then it started,”Rules in the house, Rules in the house, Rules in the house… Limp Bizkit is in the house, Bring it all”! The beats were unheard of and it was my first actual foray into Metal of any kind although the ‘Intro’ wouldn’t let me know of that. The ‘Intro’ when it started, at the first beat I turned around and looked behind at my bro and a smile escaped my face. I just couldn’t believe the sound. My mom and dad were fighting in the bedroom and we knew that we were onto something that we were really enjoying – by an absolute fluke.
The next song played and it started,”Ladies and Gentlemen! Introducing the Chocolate Starfiiiiish… and the Hotdog Flavored Water…….. bring it all”.
I was already over the moon by then!
I’ll never forget that evening. I had NOW started liking metal even after I had already listened to Metallica and Iron Maiden before but never quite really liked them. May be the sound and the style just appealed to me so much that I decided that this cassette will play every morning on my system. And it did. I made it a habit to listen to it and learn all those songs by-heart. After sometime, I could have re-written all the songs on the paper in my sleep. This was the time when I was not too much into the nitty-gritties of the sound. Couldn’t really understand what was good and what was bad and what really kicked ass. All I knew was this sound is just definitely good. That was the time when no one around me used to listen to the same music that I used to listen to since, most didn’t subscribe to the metal culture around us and with the limited earning of my dad, things were quite bleak in our class of people. Back then lyrics were really important to me and some of the songs case in point ‘My Way’, ‘Rollin”, ‘The One’, ‘It’ll Be Ok’ and ‘Boiler’ really really appealed to me ‘coz of their lyrics. To emphasize just how these songs had changed the way I have been thinking ever since, I can say that I have started living my life the ‘My Way’ style. The emotional and the drama components of ‘It’ll be Ok’ still make me stop whatever I am doing and just feel the song. ‘Hold On’ has a lot of components that are very Indian for example the tune of the song. Can’t believe me? Listen to a lot of songs from Colonial Cousins and people can start co-relating their thoughts with me. ‘Boiler’ reminds me of my failures and how I have overcome them. It tells you to get back up and reminds me of the inner rage in me. The brash sound that this album had always rung my brain to the core. I have always loved this album.
The time was ripe now that I started looking for another Limp Bizkit and it wasn’t too far. The orange and blue image of the emcee with a red ball cap always was under my eyes in the same shop but never caught my attention. The ‘Intro’ was so-so to be precise for any first-timer. These were strange sounds to me and took me a while to get used to them but I guess that’s the aim for any album. Get the audience used to the new sound and make them believe that what the album contains is exactly what the audience wanted. Just to point it out, I always found the cassette quality of Interscope Records a bit shabby. The tape would stick and had to be rewinded quite a lot to play the entire record properly on a walkman. Even my player struggled. But that’s ok. And I’ll say it again. It took me quite a while to get used to the sound of this album. But as I would later find out for myself and discover – ‘Significant Other’ was the best album Limp Bizkit ever made.
It had the right mix of everything to a point wherein it was actually hard to believe that I was hearing perfection. John Otto really really impressed me in this album. The punk beats, the crispness of it all, the bass pieces from Sam Rivers and small riffs from Wes Borland and not to forget the amazing lyrics from Fred Durst just blew me over in a few months. By the time I got addicted to this album, I had already reached college and separating from my home for a hostel was a very hard thing for me to do. I cried a lot sometimes, for this insane world could really come close to driving me crazy and at that time, ‘Significant Other’ and my walkman were all I had and all I heard. I remember walking on the by-lanes of my colony on a lonely road with my walkman on and crying and crying and ‘Rearranged’ playing. It really boosted me up. I learnt to stand up against people with this song. ‘Nookie’ was a strange one. Although it always had the content that I so wanted to hear, my ears kept repelling the song. Somehow, only the catch line at the end caught me –
“I’m only human
It’s so easy for your friends to give you their advice
They’ll tell you, just let it go
It’s easier said than done
I appreciate it, I do, but
Just leave me alone
Leave me alone
Just leave me alone”.
It always had the effect of catching me while I was falling and I was revamped after listening to this song. ‘Just Like This’ was a full blow song. Same as ‘Break Stuff’ and ‘I’m Broke’. They would provide me my kick when I was already elated or happy. Jolly songs I would say. One serious song amongst these was ‘Nobody Like You’. The special appearance by Jonathan Davis was a real bonus in this track and provided the song with enough pepper and novelty to blow me over. It became my special song when I STRONGLY started hating my then girl friend. ‘9 Teen 90 Nine’ was a song that would teleport me to a stage performing live in a concert and would rock me throughout with amazing beats by Otto and awesome scratching sounds by DJ Lethal. But the most powerful lyrics in the album belonged to a verse in the song ‘Trust?’ –
I take it back
those thoughts are kinda whack.
Don’t really need that kind of karma on the track.
Maybe Freddy Krueger
will step into your dream
and burn you like a demon
and leave your ass screamin’.
To be exact I wanted to react.
Mission of attack.
Your head was gettin’ cracked!!
but you’re a human bein’
that’s lucky to be breathin’
and that’s that!!…
I don’t trust nobody
and nobody trust me.
Never gonna trust anybody
and that’s the way its gonna be!!….
I mean the sound in this verse was mind blowing. Rest of the songs can come by you and fly by you like the ludity in ‘No Sex’ or the recital of the cities in ‘Show me what you got’. I have this album still. The cassette still remains and so does my music system and so remain the memories that I have gathered with the sound of this album.
I was still in college and had been waiting for the next album from Limp Bizkit when they launched the single ‘Eat You Alive’. I still remember the times when I would kill my pocket money to go to internet cafes only to listen to this song. I did that for 3 months till I would have my own copy of the album itself. It had the makings of the perfect album but apparently, I had no idea about what was going on inside the band itself and why the album will have to suffer for it.
I had ordered for the cassette of this album from the nearby city as the city of my college had no shop of any pedigree to reflect upon my taste of music which had developed nicely to include Joe Satriani, Creed, Linkin Park and Matchbox Twenty in my favorites list.
The album, though it only did mediocre business worldwide, always had few of my favorite tracks like the cover song ‘Eat You Alive’, ‘Underneath the Gun’, ‘Almost Over’, ‘Lonely World’, ‘Creamer’ and ‘Behind Blue Eyes’. All of them for the same reason – lyrics. They all sounded the same – with repetitive patterns on bass and guitars that would guide the song. The major difference this album had from the previous albums from Limp Bizkit was – it had been mellowed down considerably.
I had to wait for 2 more years for the next Limp Bizkit album ‘The Unquestionable Truth – Part 1’ and the fact that Wes Borland was back in the original line-up made me wait for it even more eagerly. I didn’t have my walkman with me when I got hold of this cassette in 2005 November. Gazing through the lyrics on the album cover and insides made me believe that this one carried messages and was written on common problems that Americans in general faced. The music was experimental but very fresh. Although, the album had limited visibility as it was released underground, it made sure that it rung bells with everyone who heard it as it did with me. I was amazed at the guitar riffs and style of percussion which I later found out was not done by Otto. Moreover, this album got me motivated again and had myself hope for a better direction and better sound that would have graduated from this album. I seriously still believe that LB could have continued with the same sound because it was new and had a killer instinct about it. The songs names were nearly unicoded – all of them started with ‘The’. My favorites among them were all but one. ‘The Priest’ never could touch me as I could never connect with the song since it signified a problem that I could never face in my own life. For the rest of them, I would give this EP 4.5/5 for the effort in the sound and the direction of music.
The next album saw a period that turned me from a teenager to a man who has a wife and I had been waiting and waiting for an LB album. The moment I heard of the news that the entire LB line-up had returned, tantalized my nearly dead taste-buds for metal. I say that because the metal sound that we hear today hardly resembles like the metal we loved and grew up with and it is very very hard to digest. The electronic sounds, unnecessary effects have nearly killed metal except for the likes of Opeth, Dream theater, Tool who have kept the tradition alive and have been quite fantastic about doing it. But all this for later.
‘Gold Cobra’ made it into my collection in June’2011. And I couldn’t keep my hands off it for around a month till I had learnt all the songs by heart – yet again (as was my habit). The sound was amazing but could not beat ‘Significant Other’. I can’t remember being so happy at listening an album. I loved it ‘coz I love LB. The ‘Introbra’ is the darkest intro I have heard till date on any album. ‘Bring It Back’ is a very aggressive song with punk beats and metal mixed together and reminds me of nothing but punk metal that LB was famous for. ‘Gold Cobra’ is the flagship song of this album and has a mid tempo with nice thrash sound. ‘Shark Attack’ is the song I like the most in this album. A high tempo song that’ll really raise the hearbeats. ‘Shotgun’ is basically an anthem of sorts and is real heavy metal. ‘Douche Bag’ is a high tempo song that I absolutely love on this album. ‘Walking Away’ is mellow and concentrates more on lyrics and emotions and had has drama around it. ‘Autotunage’ is an experiment with autotune sounds with FD making a mockery of it in the song ‘Loser’.
I hope and pray that LB keeps it tight together for years to come and keeps its fans like me going with more and more metal that is authentic and original with occasional experiments.