When he's not wearing skeleton face makeup alongside Fred Durst in the more-macho-than-thou Limp Bizkit, Wes Borland tends to prefer a more subdued, playful brand of music.
Big Dumb Face, which consists of him, his brother, and a group of pre-Limp Bizkit friends, reveals this softer, geekier side. And, because Limp Bizkit has been one of the most popular bands of the late '90s and beyond, this side project's debut has garnered much attention and a major label deal. The group's first LP, Duke Lion Fights the Terror, was released in 2001 on Interscope Records. Although the current incarnation is new, the majority of Big Dumb Face's lineup is descended from Goatslayer, a band Borland left when fulfilling touring duties for Limp Bizkit. Musically and lyrically, it's many solar systems removed from Limp Bizkit. Fans of that band may be disappointed to hear that Big Dumb Face is an attempt to mimic the comic experimental tendencies of Ween and old Mr. Bungle. This is a project created with modest ambitions, though, and therefore does not live up to the musical standards of Borland's idols. Either way, there's no hardcore rap-rock here. Borland reportedly played all the instruments on the first album in his home recording studio, with just a little help from brother Scott and friend Kyle Weeks. The official touring lineup includes both Borlands, Weeks, drummer Greg Isabel, and bassist Chris Gibbs. All have adopted long-winded aliases like "Tongue of Calicab" and "the Cardboard Urinal." In that vein, the album tells the story of a mythical Duke, whom Borland describes as "this idiot barbarian guy." Tracks feature Borland running around the halls of his home making noise, and the music ranges from Dr. Demento-esque variety-show pop to alternative country à la Ween. ~ Kieran McCarthy, Rovi