Release DetailsLABEL I Am: Wolfpack
RELEASED ON 6/5/2007
Black Light Burns
posted on 7/2007 By:
Whether justifiable or not, guitarist Wes Borland was always kind of seen as the brains behind Limp Bizkit: The one legitimate "artist" amongst a bunch of wigger clowns. I never really bought into that. If he was such an artist, then why the hell didn't he stand up and say something instead of taking it in the ass from camera-happy clown No. 1, Fred Durst? Money talks, I guess, and while it was whispering in Borland's ear for a combined nine years, he's now here to save the drudgery and crap that infiltrates modern rock radio with a project all his own...as if we haven't heard that before.
Black Light Burns is interesting in that the band never seems to extend beyond its influences. The band's debut, Cruel Melody, is essentially a tribute to Nine Inch Nails and A Perfect Circle. The fact that the band features Danny Lohner and Josh Freese, both of whom have played or are currently playing with both aforementioned bands just kind of cements the notion that Black Light Burns is doomed to walk the fine line between flattery and shameless imitation. While there are a few songs that assert a distinct personality, most are just a little too uninspired.
Borland seems to take his newfound identity as the "artist" a little too seriously at times. If there was ever anything interesting about Limp Bizkit, it was the odd riff or two he threw into the band's puke-ridden party rock anthems. This is almost admirable though. I get that he's trying to assert his personal place and assure people that Limp Bizkit was simply one long brain lapse, but I actually enjoy the more Bizkit-sounding songs here than the pretentious feel to stuff like "I Have A Need" and "Animal," both of which take supposedly meaningful pauses, as if you're supposed to "get" how deep and eloquent all of this is. On a positive note, "The Mark" would almost sound like a guilty pleasure b-side from Significant Other if it weren't for the superior vocals (courtesy of Borland himself) and lyrics.
I did wonder beforehand how similar to Nine Inch Nails this would really sound because of what I had read prior to listening to Cruel Melody. I was kind of disappointed to learn that the critics were mostly right. Borland DOES sound like he's aping Trent Reznor's vocals, and the brooding synth that permeates its entirety will leave most with a salty taste and the guilt that comes with listening to something so obviously unoriginal. However, that is not to say that the album sucks. Far from it, actually. If Black Light Burns was just a little more guitar driven, I might even feel compelled to recommend the band to people outside the NIN and Limp Bizkit camps. As it stands, a more organic approach to songwriting could do this band wonders on its sophomore effort.
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