Limp Bizkit – Gold Cobra

Band – Limp Bizkit
Album – Gold Cobra
Label – Interscope
Release date – June 2011
Sounds like – five dudes breaking stuff

The starfish navigation system must be working again it seems. It must be hard being in Limp Bizkit – you’ve got a frontman who feuds with more people than Dave Mustaine and has an ego writing checks his ass can’t cash; a guitarist who quits every other month and blacks up at every show; a bloke who won’t stop taking it to the Mathew’s Bridge, another guy who likes to ‘bring it on’ and then the bassist. It also must be hard trying to top your first three albums, which to be fair, are classics when it comes to frat-boy nu-metal posturing. Since then, the Bizkit has been decidedly Limp. The Borland-less ‘Results May Vary’ had about 3 good songs (NOT THAT COVER GOOD GOD NO) and Bill Paxton in one of their videos and ‘The Unquestionable Truth Part 1’ was so shit that the second part was taken on an epic Lord Of The Rings type quest and chucked into Mount Doom. There needs to be some light at the end of the tunnel, to stop what has possibly been a frustrating, but by no means entertaining time on the Limp Bizkit train of fun. This is why ‘Gold Cobra’ has to be good – it has to at least be a half-decent record to rescue Fred and Co from their slump – it has to be the album that makes them feel like a united, fully co-operative band again.

Time for this red cap to get a rap from these critics huh.

It’s so easy to prepare for the worst; with a Limp Bizkit album. Coming into this with low expectations is almost the default. To be honest, my mind is pretty open when it comes to the Bizkit train and I was surprised that ‘Gold Cobra’ is actually a damn good rock record. Like their first three releases, it has something that has been missing from the formula of their most recent offerings: songs that aren’t complete and utter pony. The actual song ‘Gold Cobra’ is vintage Bizkit and is what you would expect – there’s a stupid video of Fred dressed a bit like Michael Jackson; Wes resembles Yoshimitsu crossed with an evil David Bowie, there’s a girl in a bikini jiggling her assets and a fast car. It’s unashamedly them and they deliver that familiar bass heavy-rumble of detuned, rap-metal perfectly.

‘Bring It Back’ squeals and screeches like a Drowning Pool-b-side (thanks Wes) whilst Durst bellows “HELL YEAH!” and we hit a weird wall of crunk-rap posturing of “WHAT? WHAT? WHAT?” with Durst stating how they’re going to “bring it back” cheers dudes. The best line however is “we still rainin’ blood in the club like Slayer….” Which is more like it, for something that sounds like they’ve cribbed a load of ideas off of Rage Against The Machine, got drunk, then tried to play them backwards.

‘Shotgun’ might be the best song they’ve ever recorded. It’s straight out of the ‘Three Dollar Bill Y’all’ catalogue of scrappy, careless rap-rock back when they’re instruments were rusted to hell and they just didn’t care. The chorus is spot on; a massive anthemic jump-around, noise fest of beer-swigging, fist-pumping chaos, (“EVERYBODY JUMPS FOR THE SOUND OF THE SHOTGUN, IN MA NEIGHBOURHOOD, EVERYBODY’S GOT ONE”) whilst Borland’s guitar solo (YES A SOLO) seriously shreds in all its squealing, abrasive caterwaul of terror. Props to Lethal’s sampling; yeah, I’ve heard ‘Rock N Roll Gangster’ as well mate. ‘Shotgun’ should in years to come, be as big as ‘Break Stuff’, ‘Rollin’ and that George Michael cover.

‘Douche Bag’ on the other hand, sounds like a lost cut from the ‘Chocolate Starfish…’ era. Borland’s guitar wails in and out of tune, whilst Rivers and Otto hold everything together with a solid rhythmic pound of posturing nu-metal dumbness. Durst spits his pretentious gibberish on a track that rivals ‘Hot Dog’ for the amount of fucks in this fucked up rhyme. It’s just a flail of preppy, brainless yet amusing angst from a band that it seems, still haven’t grown up yet (and thank god).

‘Walking Away’ is a fairly decent stab at something less plane-pointing. Durst’s voice is uncharacteristically fragile and despondent, whilst Borland’s guitar is dominated by a wash of fuzz and feedback. The last few minutes are immersed in a crushing crescendo of clattering drums, murderous screams, scratches and a wall of mangled shoegaze-meets-metallic rock. In some ways, it’s the ‘Re-arranged’ of ‘Gold Cobra’, but a denser, taunt rush of concentrated bleakness and rage.

Hilarious synthesized Jaws theme used on the intro to ‘Shark Attack’. It then goes all ‘Break Stuff’ – Durst even re-uses “it’s just one of those days…” before launching into some quick fire verbal hating, sampled “YEAHS!” and a bouncing hip-hop beat and that ever present, macho pomposity and arrogant swagger that’s about the size of a Great White and just as deadly. Infectious? Yes. Self-referencing (“red cap,” “Freddy Kruger”) and a mid-section that melds back into electro-Jaws territory and references to Sushi – you bet. I’d be very surprised if this wasn’t single material.

There is however, the usual duffers in the form of ‘Loser’, which might as well be called ‘pointless filler track’ for all it does – Durst moans a bit, wallowing in self deprecation and ‘oh woe is me’ bullshit over some quite uninspiring, turgid Staind-lite rock. I’m still confused as to what the hell ‘Autotunage’ is about – I also can’t decide whether it’s total shit (hearing Fred repeatedly saying “OOOHHH YEEEAAHHH” on the song’s irritating chorus set my teeth so far on edge) –  at least the “rockin’ and shockin’ the flow” redeems it somewhat.

The intro to ’90.2.10’ is over-the-top fret-wankery; the lyrics are hilariously bad but the chorus and Durst’s incredibly low, slurred and spiteful delivery, coupled with gang-chants and the swaggering nerve actually elevate it as one of the more interesting tracks, even if it essentially the equivalent of a dumb-jock chucking a football at the nerds table, laughing like a horse.

The stench of their first album resides all over ‘Get A Life’ which is jammed with anger, pain, frustration and goading. The riff is a huge, bouncing pogo of crushing hate, similar to that of ‘Stuck’; as is Fred’s bitter delivery which reeks of distaste.

‘Why Try’ opens with “oh, no guess who’s back….” – why isn’t this at the start of the album? It seems completely misplaced as the penultimate track. Regardless, it’s a stone-cold anthem – a head-banging, boisterous 3 minute salvo of bravado and yet more past album referencing (‘eat you alive’, ‘dollar bill’ and ‘sucker MCs’ this time). The riff that slides in is a massive slice of guttural, filthy groove-laden metal and exactly what the Jacksonville five-piece need to be delivering.

Sure it could use a few tweaks, but the fact of the matter is, ‘Gold Cobra’ is an impressive, if cocky, return to the metal and hard rock scene from a band, that despite their troubles and colourful past, have actually this time, delivered the goods in making a record that they should be proud of and deserves your attention. Yeah, it struts and has the arrogance about it, but it wouldn’t be a Limp Bizkit album without that would it? Surprisingly, recommended listening.

Links

Limp Bizkit

Interscope

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Lizard Hips

Junior Vice President of Keep It Fast. In other news: I work in social media, talk about dinosaurs, run a book club and have amazing facial hair. I am also a male man who is still not dead.

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