Big Dumb Face: “Where Is Duke Lion? He’s Dead …” Album Review

Big Dumb Face is the brainchild of Wes Borland, the zany guitarist of Limp Bizkit. Where’s Duke Lion? He’s Dead … is a follow up to Duke Lion Fights the Terror which was released 16 years ago. I bought that album back then in hopes of finding a high concentration of creativity and it did not disappoint. The sophomore effort is, however, almost a track-for-track remake of the Bizkit’s Significant Other.

Just kidding. It’s nothing like Limp Bizkit at all, but like the first album, it is packed with bizarre and extreme wildness from the brightest and darkest corners of Borland’s mind. His look onstage playing with Bizkit always seemed a little out of place (in a fun way), but to picture what Big Dumb Face sound like, reference Borland’s costumes. What he looks like with Limp Bizkit is how he sounds in Big Dumb Face.

The only thing I don’t like about this project is the goofy effects applied to every  vocal track on each song. The music is intense, unbridled, and unlike anything you’ve heard before. Unfortunately, it sounds like The Muppets are doing all the vocals, making it impossible to take seriously. I’m sure Wes Borland is fully aware of this, and that’s how he intended it, so I just will say, “Fair enough.”

The musicianship on Where’s Duke Lion? He’s Dead … is incredible. It’s clearly one of those albums other artists will draw from, and it will never be mainstream in any way. I don’t mean mainstream as in pop culture, but rather in the metal world. It is a sweet morsel in the encyclopedia of metal that few will truly delve into and understand, but it’s there as a great reference for ideas. It will always be cool to know hidden, underground albums like this that no one else has ever heard of.

Big Dumb Face dip into Marilyn Manson’s Antichrist Superstar-era territory, creating creepy, wacky atmospheres, all while feeling like a satanic propaganda cartoon. “Zargon Moth” has an interesting structure reminiscent of an old Anal Cunt album in which every song was 30 seconds long and began with a short series of beeps. During the track everything stops, then a single ride cymbal, insanity for 8 seconds, then repeat. “Blood Maiden” is a steel drum-driven, island-living track with a feminine, animated character singing.

I wish Borland would do serious vocals rather than saturating the living hell out of them with countless effects, but Big Dumb Face‘s Where is Duke Lion? He’s Dead … will still go down as a bat-shit crazy album. You will learn about from your weird friend on an unforgettable night that you got fired from your job, went to two amazing parties, and spent the rest of the night driving around to keep the memorable evening alive as long as possible.

Where is Duke Lion? He’s Dead … is out now on Edison Sound. Buy it here!

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