POP-EYE 21/1/2001

Of course Limp Bizkit don’t matter. Fifteen-year-old boys like what fifteen-year-old boys always have and always will: shouting plus snot plus noise. Some of the best music ever has been made that way and some of the worst has, too. The problem is that after a decade of critically rehabilitating every music imaginable pop’s immune system has weakened rather, so when a band who really are absolutely, laughably, no-possible-doubt-about-it shit roll up nobody quite knows what to do. “But…but….this is a bit like metal….and we’ve all decided that metal’s good now….and we all like rap too….and the kids like it….help!”

Limp Bizkit however are not metal in its happy reissue-friendly form. They are the descendents of the kind of greasy stupid crap metal that turned up on the fifth page of the Kerrang! reviews section with a picture of a goblin and would get the regulation two ‘K’s from a weary junior, metal which is metal because it is competent to be nothing else. As for rap, it is amazing that a man who seems to do it quite as much as Fred Durst does is still so apalling at it. The sheer gumption of this horrible man, whose song sounds like someone having his piles done in a cement mixer, singing “You need some better beats and some better rhymes”, is flabbergasting (easily the most impressive thing about “Rollin”)

“Rollin” is really, really bad. Really bad – the worst Number One since Elton John by a shit-flooded mile. It’s also the first number one which nobody over the age of twenty likes, even knowingly ‘likes’, since….well, ever, possibly. Credit to Fred Durst, pathetic and creepy though he is, for opening up the first generation gap of the noughties. At first I reckoned “Rollin”‘s success (funny how I find myself typing Rollins, clearly the godfather of this wounded-macho rubbish) was inexplicable, then I thought, no. Nobody’s buying this for the music, they’re buying it for the attitude, which is obviously worse but at least makes sense.

Fred Durst, sad twat in a backwards hat, is the avatar for tosspots and no-marks everywhere: people who read Front and put one-paragraph ‘Rants’ on the internet, dribble-mouthed wankmerchants who are both thick and lazy but still feel entitled to ‘respect’ for their non-existent opinions. In every pinched bleat from Durst you can hear his infantile anger: this is the main difference between LB and previous fluke-metal No.1s (“Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter”, anyone?).

So Durst, while vile, is not much of a big deal. Why then spend four precious pop-eye paragraphs on him? Because, alas, my knowledge of the other new releases is a bit sketchy. Spooks I know, though, having stupidly bought their single, which is a considerably more cynical bit of tat than “Rollin'”, being a bunch of Swedes pretending to be the Fugees. Spooks cover up their lack of rhythmic or conceptual originality with a vaguely portentious rap approximately about what happens when fuck meets all. “You won’t believe the things I’ve seen….where chaos and order reign supreme” their Lauryn-a-like warbles – well come on girl, which one is it? You can’t have chaos and order reigning supreme, you dozy bint! The whole thing sounds like a karaoke Blackstreet: embarrassing.

Particularly as it beat All Saints, whose “All Hooked Up” is a bit of a gem – muscular pop-swing just like it used to be made before all these micro-beat peddlers and vocoder divas got hold of it, plus a very funny bit where one of the Appleton sisters talks about having a fool up her ass and one’s thoughts immediately turn to Popbitch. It didn’t get as high as “Black Coffee” or “Pure Shores” because it’s not anything like as good, but that hardly merits the head-shaking that they’ve been getting from the press.

Stopping to administer the briefest of kicks to the useless Feeder, we come to Pink, who is being made sick by her man, so what is new and then a lot of other things I haven’t heard, my not hearing of which is a deliberate ploy to get people talking in the forum of course. Several of these sound promising – Slarta John after all did a good turn on a Basement Jaxx single, and Boom are probably cheap and cheerful, and a track called “Pistol Whip” sounds like it should be a horrid dusty alt-country thing but is on Nulife so is probably not. And Toploader seem to be going for the record for weeks spent at #21, the pop equivalent of being the man who built the biggest model ship (British Record) in the Guinness Book.

But basically this week is all about the Bizkit, and the biggest sign yet that fratboy rap-metal is here to stay as an import. Where’s the Bob The Builder follow-up when you need it?

THE FIVE BEST (oh what a surprise)
ALL SAINTS – All Hooked Up (7)
MISTEEQ – Why (10)
EMINEM – Stan (12)
DESTINY’S CHILD – Independent Women (26)
WU-TANG CLAN – Gravel Pit (30)

(From next week Pop-Eye moves to an exciting new format on its own page, and better still we’ll be ditching the five best feature so you won’t need to be reminded week-in week-out that we’re quite fond of Eminem.)

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