Lets rewind a few years back to "Gold Cobra", the return of band everyone loves to hate, Limp Bizkit. Ten years ago they dominated the airwaves at the turn of the millennium before enduring a patchy period of lineup changes and flopped records. Their reunion with original lineup and announcement of a new record came as a shock at the time. I enjoyed this record back then but never gave it too much time. Catching Bizkit live many times since their reunion has been a true treat for the inner-child in me that loved them in my youth and recently I found myself with a hankering to listen to this one as its hooks and catchy edge swirled around in my mind these few years later.
Having reabsorbed this record I find myself with a greater appreciation for it, but I have the same qualms as back in 2011. Lets start with the positives, on "Gold Cobra" Bizkit recapture the essence of their attitude and style thats been absence since "Chocolate Starfish", but this is no nostalgic recreation, its a forward thinking record that finds the five band mates progressing as the group they once were. John Otto is keen on his kit bringing that loud slamming rock energy with a strong Hip Hop groove. At times he's a little quite but theres plenty of moments where he comes to the fore front with a massive beat. Rivers is steady and subtle as ever, rocking powerful lines under the guitars, giving much backbone for Borland's charismatic guitar style which doesn't have quite the explosive edge it once did, but he finds plenty of ways to excite with an arsenal of strange guitar noises and new rhythmic approaches.
DJ Lethal is relatively absence on this record, making his appearances in between tracks with the occasional drum sample jamming with Borland's alien leads but not bringing a lot of impact to the rest of the music with the occasional scratching and samples ringing in the background, not the same charm it once had. Fred Durst is the biggest point of contention on this record. His voice and energy is right on the mark, but the lyrical content is certainly an oddity of its own. The flow and hooks have it, but the lyrics are as tame as ever. Fred was never hailed for his lyricism, and as an adult his profanity driven attitude and basic vocabulary doesn't have the charm on me it did in my youth, at the same time there's hooks that get stuck right inside your head despite a lack of depth or connection, most the time its in one ear and out the other.
The record as a whole feels like what you world expect from and old Bizkit, theres that variety including mellower tracks reminiscent of "My Way" and "Re-Arranged", as well as some heavier aggressive numbers. "Gold Cobra" gives a fan everything they want, but its biggest flaw lies with Fred who's lyrics feel stale in a vibrant racket of energy. Great and unexpected come back record. Now I'm looking forward too "Stampede Of The Disco Elephants".
Favorite Tracks: Bring It Back, Gold Cobra, Get A Life, Walking Away, Why Try, Killer In You