Review Summary: Summary: Gold Cobra sounds like a Limp Bizkit album
Anyone who tries to analyze how “Gold Cobra” differs from any Limp Bizkit album or goes into nauseating detail about their career arch and the evolution of purported sonic differences or how some new lyrical approach has been undertaken is wasting time in a colossal fashion and absolutely bullsh*tting you. Anyone who reviews “Gold Cobra” could make it extremely easy for the potential listener and just say it sounds like a Limp Bizkit album and we could all go home. YouTube has a legion of knuckle-dragging simpletons, but the cavalcade of (alleged) morons who are shouting “LIMP BIZKIT IS BACK BITCH” are 100% accurate, because Limp Bizkit in the “Year of the Cobra” are absolutely identical to Limp Bizkit in the original Napster era. Wes Borland is probably going to wear his mask on-stage again this summer and still plays an avalanche of 7 string riffs. The DJ and the other dudes do exactly the same thing they used to (try not to f*ck anything up for Fred and Wes), and Fred is still wearing his hat backwards, still talking tough in that whiny voice that sounds like one of his testicles hasn’t dropped yet, and still displaying that completely irrational self-confidence that is arguably the most blatant example of unfounded arrogance in the history of history (by the way Fred is 40). Finally, “Gold Cobra” is exactly like “Significant Other” and that album about hot dogs being a euphemism for a giant steaming turd sitting in a toilet in the sense that about half of it is ridiculously awesome and roughly half is unquestionably horrendous. Like Fred has said so many times: “it’s Limp Bizkit.”
One would think having eight years to conceptualize an album would guarantee SOME level of depth, maturity, and experimentation. Logically and theoretically this makes sense but literally we are talking about Fred Durst. This is a man who calls himself “Polar Bear” and likes to say things like “line it up, cheetah.” This is a guy who showed his “o-face” to the world once he realized Bizkit’s popularity was colliding with the inevitable backlash that naturally occurs when you sell too many records and 50% of people only like you ironically. This is the mind that named his band after the act of four guys jacking off on a cookie and whoever displays the most stamina ends up eating it. Fred is angry on “Gold Cobra” just like Fred was angry on every other album, if only this time he is threatening the “haters” with what he can do with a knife rather than a chainsaw (the evolution of 40 year old vs. 30 year old Fred).
Speaking of chainsaws, “Shark Attack” borrows not only the riff structure from “Break Stuff” but actually begins with the line “another one of those days.” Part of the charm about “Gold Cobra” is it’s an obvious redemption quest for Bizkit. Usually redemption means coming full circle, and coming full circle requires overcoming insurmountable obstacles and emerging stronger, more mature, and a hell of a lot wiser. Bizkit’s backlash was only rivaled by Creed’s, so the obstacle part is absolutely in play, but Durst’s idea of finalizing the full circle concept is going back to square one and replicating the rise rather than overcoming the fall. “Walking Away” sounds like “Boiler” and mirrors its reputation of being the best song on the album because they’re the only examples where the macho posturing act is jettisoned in favor of sincerity. It’s easy to conclude anyone who talks about f*cking people up as often as Durst isn’t within the galaxy of toughness they pretend to be, making those moments of clarity all the more necessary and powerful. Like “Counterfeit,” “Full Nelson,” and 87% of their songs, “Douchebag,” “Why Try,” and especially “Get a Life” are attacks geared towards very real haters that fit into the “so awful it’s awesome" category, and like countless prior examples, “Autotunage,” “90.2.10” and to a lesser extent “Loser” are so intensely atrocious they could never be even ironically enjoyed. It seems Fred always found his sweet spot when aiming for middle ground, and that is precisely the reason the title track, “Shark Attack,” and “Bring It Back” are objectively the best songs not named “Walking Away.”
In the end, Bizkit mirroring their own rise was probably the wisest thing they could do. If Fred Durst didn't continue to worship at the testosterone-laced altar of Fred Durst something would be wrong and the enjoyment factor of "Gold Cobra" would tank almost immediately. Durst has always been smarter than he looks and sounds, and “Gold Cobra” will be a success for no other reason than the insurmountable power of nostalgia. If Bizkit released something that didn't sound like classic Bizkit any legitimate reason to jam "Gold Cobra" would have been lost. In 2000, frat boys used to play drinking games where everyone had to take a shot whenever Durst talked about how hard he was, who he was going to beat the sh*t out of, and when he dropped an f-bomb, and Abercrombie bros in 2011 are going to do the exact same thing while jamming “The Killer In You,” “Douche Bag,” and “Get a Life.” Fred’s lyrics still range from Dr. Seuss level wordplay to the sterling proclivities of a homicidal maniac, all of the "tough guy" songs have that quintessential melodic refrain, everyone who doesn’t agree with Durst is still a douchebag, and Limp Bizkit still rocks. Whether one legitimately or ironically enjoys Limp Bizkit, they couldn’t ask for anything more.