Big Dumb Face - Where Is Duke Lion? He’s Dead… album review

Wes Borland’s crew wage a new war on your senses

Cover art for Big Dumb Face - Where Is Duke Lion? He’s Dead…

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Limp Bizkit guitarist/alien Wes Borland has decreed the world needs more comedy metal. Sixteen years after Big Dumb Face’s debut, the landscape of humour and heaviness has been somewhat saturated, the likes of Psychostick dumbing it down to dogs and socks. But what Wes brings, aside from his absurdist lyrical slant, is comedy within music itself; a song about demonic possession evokes more chuckles when performed in calypso band style, like The Blood Maiden and My Girl Daisy here.

For the most part, though, BDF’s sophomore serving operates in the arena of grind, blastbeats and Zurg-like domineering vocals. Imagine Ween recording a split with Napalm Death and Strapping Young Lad, odes to Beelzebub, booty and Budweiser lacing an hour of brutal silliness. The Bizkit bounce is still prevalent, but there’s scant regard for traditional time signatures or, well, anything traditional. But Where Is The Duke Lion?… has massive tunes. Magic Guillotine boasts a Maiden-worthy galloping section, while The Goat Is Dead traverses harsh industrial death with Kraftwerk-ian undertones, speeding into orchestration even Cradle Of Filth would gawk at. You’re Fucked is another detour, with vocals hinting at Skinny Puppy’s Ogre.

If you make it to the near-19-minute, genre-hopping finale, well done. This isn’t an easy listen, but it’s far from incongruous – Wes’s absurdist, self-referential lunacy is fortified with brilliant musicality and hooks for days. This is Wes Borland. If you prefer a milder musician, please ask for one.

Alec Chillingworth

Alec is a longtime contributor with first-class BA Honours in English with Creative Writing, and has worked for Metal Hammer since 2014. Over the years, he's written for Noisey, Stereoboard, uDiscoverMusic, and the good ship Hammer, interviewing major bands like Slipknot, Rammstein, and Tenacious D (plus some black metal bands your cool uncle might know). He's read Ulysses thrice, and it got worse each time.