(As published in the Times of Acadiana ... )
Chocolate St*rfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water
This band’s a rap-metal-punk-funk monster to be sure, but the monster Fred Durst sings like is John Lydon as conceived by Hanna-Barbera, a creature whose every howl is meant to imply “The horror! The horror!” but whose howls are really whines adding up to little more than “Zoiks!” As for Durst’s lyrics: “Ain’t it a shame that you can’t say ‘f*ck’? / ‘F*ck’’s just a word....” Now, anybody who thinks that f*ck, or any other word for that matter, is “just a word” has no business using the language. Next thing you know, Durst will be telling us--actually, it doesn’t matter what he’ll be telling us if words are just words. Nevertheless, in the spirit of giving credit where credit is due, I note “The One” (“Stupid Girl” rewritten from the perspective of a not-so-stupid boy) and “Hold On” (a worthy tribute to Led Zep’s brooding side, and, no, I didn’t think they had it in them). Rating: Two exceptions out of fifteen.