YEP, AXL REVIEWED GOLD COBRA
Twelve years ago, Limp Bizkit released Significant Other, and an ungodly amount of casual acquaintances and friends of friends told me that I had to check it out. But I saw the video for “Nookie” and immediately knew that, dear heavens no, I most certainly did not have to check it out. And it was bad enough that Limp Bizkit could actually be a make-it-or-break-it point in a friendship; I once knew a millionaire alcoholic who declared my clothes to be “welfare,” but loved Limp Bizkit so much he got a black eye in one of their pits, so I felt pretty confident that anyone who even liked Limp Bizkit was more worthless than the plaque I brushed off my teeth in the morning.
But for the next, oh, I dunno, five years or so — I knew the tide had turned circa Ozzfest ’03, when Lamb of God and Hatebreed were all the rage and Otep was the only nu-metal artist on the whole bill — anytime someone who didn’t really know me would find out that I listened to metal, they would inevitably bring up Limp Bizkit or Korn. Consequently, I beat a lot of people to death with a rusty lead pipe during those years, and am now forced to write under an alias so as to conceal my true identity from the authorities.
So I don’t know what it says about me that I don’t think Gold Cobra deserves an especially harsh beatdown for its sins.
Don’t get me wrong — this album is fucking awful. Wes Borland is still recycling that one riff he wrote that time, and playing it with all the grace of a hippopotamus on ice skates. And Fred Durst’s rapping is still competing with his singing for the “Worst Sound Ever” award, and his lyrics still have about as much brain power as a retarded crack baby in a coma. In short, Limp Bizkit still sound like the worst local band ever.
But that’s the thing: Limp Bizkit still sound just like Limp Bizkit. They have not found out a way to truly challenge themselves, which is to say, they have not evolved to some other, higher platitude of badness. Frankie Emmure writes lyrics that make Durst’s seem as though they were composed by a Harvard-educated feminist, Winds of Plague one-upped Borland’s gimmicky shittiness by becoming the Menudo of female keyboard players, and Oceano couldn’t find a hook on a coat rack. But all Limp Bizkit have to offer is more or less the same shit they were slinging twelve years ago? Honky white boys be trippin’!
Oh, sure, sometimes The Bizkit find new innovations in drek. Take, for example, the first proper song on the album, “Bring it Back” (following “Introbra,” which allegedly features Gene Simmons, although you’d never know it hear the track). The song is Durst and Borland’s answer to crunkcore, with terrible screechy guitars laid over bad white boy house music drum loops and bass drops, and when I heard Durst rap “We still reign in blood in da club like Slayer,” I briefly felt compelled to drop everything, get on a plane to Los Angeles, and burn Durst’s mansion to the ground, with him still inside of it. (Anso called me and talked me down when I was at the boarding gate.) Borland’s guitars on “Douche Bag” are so annoying that you’ll want to strangle him with his guitar strings. “90.2.10” actually begins with an honest-to-Satan speed metal riff, which feels like an especially terrible tease, given the funky-bass laden date rape anthem that follows.
But for the most part, what we get are songs like “Shotgun,” “Shark Attack,” “Get a Life,”and the title track — songs which one could easily be convinced are just b-sides from Chocolate Starfish and the Hotdog Flavored Water. The traditional “Freddy is sensitive” numbers are obviously titled (“Walking Away” and “Loser”), for maximum avoidability. Even “Autotunage” isn’t as irritating as I thought it would be based on its title.
And now that Fred is in his forties, he seems less aggressively stupid and more just kinda sad. In the 90s, it was like, “SOMEBODY TELL THIS PIECE OF SHIT TO STOP RHYMING WORDS WITH THEMSELVES!!!” Now, it’s like, “Oh, geez, that poor guy does not have a very large vocabulary, does he? We really need to do something about the school system in this country.”
So maybe I’ve just mellowed out with age, or maybe, after all these years, I’m finally immune to Limp Bizkit’s suckitude. But I think there will be albums this year the popularity of which irritates me far more than that of Gold Cobra. This album won’t make the band any new, young fans, it will just appeal to the now-aging ree-rees who always liked Limp Bizkit. And Durst isn’t gonna be an A-list celebrity again. Gold Cobra‘s release will just be, like, one more facepalm-worthy event in 2011.
No horns awarded.