McNulty’s Retro Reviews: Limp Bizkit – Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water


Friends, there are things in this world upon which we shall agree, and things upon which with we shalln’t. Limp Bizkit’s  a pretty crummy band, right? Yeah we can agree on that; but we might not share the same idea of at which POINT in their career they turned from not crummy to crummy.

Oh hi, welcome back to McNulty’s Retro Reviews. I have been depriving you all of retro-music-review elitism for far too long now. So let’s pick it back up where we left off: with Limp Bizkit‘s third thingy: Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water. You’ll get all my thoughts (free of charge) while I listen to this album, all the way through for the first time ever! Okay let’s do this 🙂

01. Intro. 00:00:01 Okay stop. If you respect the art form known as music, if you respect yourself as either a composer and/or consumer of authentic music from the heart and/or the soul, then you should be able to spot a grifter from a mile away. We’re done here, put your wallets away. But I still have a job to do, so…

02. Hot Dog. Seriously, this shit’s no better than what they gave us with Significant Other. This is one of the worst songs I’ve heard. There’s just as much dis-authenticity on this track as there is with… whatever that one song is you supposedly liked off the previous album. [Editor’s Note: Significant Other is good, actually]

03. My Generation. I don’t even know what’s going on, this is the same exact song as before. Am I stuck in some kind of Marvel timeloop? There’s not a shred of redeemable musicality on this. [Please erase from the annals of history, blogger overlords.]

04. Full Nelson. Now there’s one ignorant-ass crunchy nu-metal guitar riff. … OH WAIT, this is a carbon copy of one of their actual good songs from a time period when they cared about music. Yeah that’s right, they’re trying to recycle a track from Three Dollar Bill Y’all called ‘Stuck’. How do you know this? Cause Uncle Jimmy told you about it on an earlier edition of Retro Reviews. You thought we wouldn’t notice Fred, but we did… all five- to seven- of us souls who fell susceptible to a decent debut by a band who cared, but would later so tragically leave it for the iridescent glow of US currency.

05. My Way. Why even subject a human being to this… thing? They already pissed away every drop of respectability on the second LP, so is this just salt in the wound? Just picture some record producer saying, “hey kid you’ll make it big if you repeat a couple of stupid hooks and use the word fuck a lot and create pre-packaged, made-for-teens, cut-and-paste, soulless drivel.”

06. Rollin’ (Air Raid Vehicle).  I hope this little exercise was fun for you, dear reader! You know why I invited you here, right? Do you feel guilty? You should feel a little guilty, and it’s because you defended Significant Other, back in the day. You might exclaim, “but BREAK STUFF!!!” and you would be incorrect. There’s nothing good about Significant Other, and it’s all worse with Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water. This album is a flanderized version of Limp Bizkit.

07. Livin’ It Up. Shit just went down, they sampled something from The Eagles‘s ‘Life In the Fast Lane’. Now don’t you go thinking I am going to defend The Eagles for a moment, but… low hangin’ fruit, my friend. Fred Durst is “a crazy muthafucka: livin’ it up, not givin’ a fuck, living life in the fast lane.” They just picked up a pile of dogshit and kept rubbing our faces in it, track after insufferable track. I swear, this must be a completely different band than who gave us ‘Clunk’ years ago.

08. The One. Shh, the band’s about to get rill serious here. I think. It’s kind of a ballad, low on distortion, heavy on melody. Mr. Durst appears to be … wife hunting? What an inoffensive song without a very hard stance on any subject. After three minutes, one assumes the song is over as the music quiets down and Fred ponders, “this could be the one… maybe so, maybe not… who knows?” But it doesn’t end there. We got three more minutes of plot development. Oops, nevermind, it’s just some cringeworthy Sugar Ray-esque thing.

09. Getcha Groove On – Dirt Road Mix. Xzibit is featured in this song, which explains why some of parts of it are acceptable. I won’t pretend to be an Xzibit fan, but he seems like a fine rapper. This is the most tolerable song so far… I’ll give it a solid 0.25 Flaming Toilet emojis.

10. Take a Look Around. It’s that song from some Mission Impossible movie (?). I’ll take a song created for a movie soundtrack over anything original the band was composing at this point in their career.

11. It’ll Be OK. This is another soft ballad like ‘The One’. I couldn’t finish it. Had to skip.

12. Boiler. Wow we are finally given a riff! It’s nothing spectacular but it’s a good for Limp Bizkit. Granted the song is bad; but this marks the first instance on the record in which it sounds like somebody in the band cared about music over earning an easy paycheck. And fuck it, I’ll admit John Otto is a good drummer.

13. Hold On. Ballad. Featuring Scott Weiland. It’s dumb, but inoffensive. There are worse ways to end a record, like perhaps a remix of the album’s big hit single. OH CRAP it does end in one, doesn’t it? I should have been more careful with my words.

14. Rollin’ (Urban Assault Vehicle). Features Redman, Method Man, and DMX. None of them piss me off, so it’s probably the least worst way to cover a song. I’m just glad the whole thing is over.

There are times in just about every band’s career when it’s obvious that they don’t care about the music any more, just about everybody drops a Black Album on us eventually. Limp Bizkit did it with their sophomore album, but this one is twice as bad. I would say that I hope the band made lots of money, but they quit being important to me before this was released. It was a painful listen, Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water gets:

0 out of 5 PlayStation 2’s


Note: Fred Durst, you seem… redeemable. I may have at some point seen something you directed, or something you acted in, or something you produced maybe (?). Whatever, the bottom line is you and I have no serious beef. In fact I’m currently listening to the excellent ole toe-tapper ‘Stalemate’ while a single tear runs down my cheek.

(image via)

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