By David Browne
June 14, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT
  • Music

Exactly how does Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst make it through the day? In nearly every song on the band’s second album, Significant Other (out June 22), life is something to be endured, not lived. ”It’s just one of those days when you don’t wanna wake up/Everything is f — -ed/ Everybody sucks!” he rants in the aptly named ”Break Stuff,” in which he’s tempted to grab the nearest chain saw to help solve his problems. In other songs, his friends are lying hypocrites (”Trust”) who borrow money and never return it (”I’m Broke”).

Even when Durst finds love, he eventually rides into the sunset alone. In ”Nookie,” the album’s musical battering ram of a first single, he informs us that his girlfriend didn’t just run off with his money but also had sex with all his buds. ”I’m just a sucker with a lump in my throat,” he bellows, then chastises himself in the chorus: ”I did it all for the nookie.” If the world isn’t frustrating enough, a satanic-voiced spoken-word bit at the end of the album informs us that people are actually buying Backstreet Boys records!

Durst may be a successful rock star with a platinum debut album (Bizkit’s ’97 ”Three Dollar Bill, Y’all$”), but that doesn’t stop him from playing the rock & roll underdog — the guy who feels constantly hammered, suppressed, and taken advantage of, and who uses his band’s melding of jackhammer metal and bellicose rap as an outlet for that frustration. (As harsh as this may sound, you can’t help but think that Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris may have been huge Limp Bizkit fans.) As Durst sings in a lighter moment, upholding a time-honored sentiment, ”Music is key/It’s the way we’re set free/ From all this world is throwin’ at me.”

A proud by-product of skateboard-metal culture, Significant Other is as grueling and unrelenting as Durst’s thoughts. But much more so than the work of Limp Bizkit’s brethren in Korn, Significant Other is significant in ways that will make anyone over 35 feel like a relic: It’s rock that has absolutely no bond to any music made before, roughly, the dawn of this decade.

”Significant Other” isn’t disturbing because of Durst’s stance or feelings. It’s because bands like Limp Bizkit represent the future of rock. And what a future: a music and sensibility that’s agitated, angry, hostile, wary, and devoid of much nuance. This type of music always existed, but it usually bubbled under the charts. Now it’s the mainstream, and it makes you wonder if rock’s forever lost that lovin’ feeling.

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