Since 1995 Fred Durst hasn’t given a fuck what y’all thought. 16 years later he and Limp Bizkit are back in their original form with Gold Cobra, and guess what? He still don’t give a fuck, or at least that’s the recurring message throughout new record.
Gold Cobra is a total throwback to the early 2000’s when Limp Bizkit were at the peak of their popularity. It seems the band are aware of how their popularity has waned over the last decade as the album is littered with reminders of how things used to be. Not subtly mind you as at least two tracks quite literally point out how good things were for them back then. It’s a little desperately “Remember us?” sometimes, but despite this reliance on old times, they’ve delivered a really good album.
Although retreading old ground the band have managed to latch on to what made them so popular in the first place. If you’re even slightly familiar with Limp Bizkit, it’s the expected mix of rap and metal musical styling with the machismo and aggression that’s was always been there. The sixth or seventh time you hear “I don’t give a fuck” does get a bit grating, but I guess it’s part of the whole rap character. It’s not like they’re the only band out there calling out their contemporaries and competition. I think part of what makes it a bit of an irritant is Fred Durst himself being a bit of a self important dick. At least I can say that quite happily, ‘cos he don’t give a fuck what I think anyway.
I’ve never thought of Fred Durst as being much of a rapper, but the highlights of the album are when the band embrace slower rap with a metal infusion style of song. Sure, he doesn’t have the skill of say, Abdominal, but the slower pacing is better suited to the red capped wonder making him sound considerably better than the faster metal based songs that seem to result in a whinier vocal. Fred’s voice ranges from the rap to a poor straight singing voice with an occasional scream. The variation does jolt enjoyable songs at times, though not too much, and it’s certainly not enough to ruin anything.
At its high points there are parts of the album that are reminiscent of Cypress Hill’s Skull and Bones excellent rap metal hybrid experiment, and I personally would like to see the band focus on a style more like that as it’s the tracks like post intro opener “Bring It Back”, title track “Gold Cobra” and “Get A Life” that I enjoyed most. A special mention needs to be made to one track in particular called “Autotunage”. A topical dig at the use of Autotune in modern music, there’s a little bit of verbal at the end of “Loser” followed by an entire song done with Autotune post processing and it’s funny, as while being a pretty good tune the vocal is for the most part worse than normal.
I have to confess that after 2003’s Results May Vary, I largely ignored Limp Bizkit, failing to hear the last album entirely. I felt like they’d had their time and they were getting old fast. Gold Cobra reminds me of everything I used to really like about Limp Bizkit in the early days. It’s punchy, has some good riffs and it’s quite simply just entertaining. It’s not going to revolutionise anyone’s life, but if kids pick this up and enjoy it they’re guaranteed to enjoy the early back catalogue too.
The Bizkit are back as if they’d never left. If you were a fan then, you’ll enjoy this for sure. If not, you’ll hear considerably worse records than this one this year.