“We’re gonna party like it’s nineteen-ninety-nine”
“Nostalgia’s double-edged sword”
Some things never change. ‘Gold Cobra’ is Limp Bizkit’s sixth studio album- the first, I believe, in just as many years and, for those of you wondering (those of you who like oversized contact lenses, of course), yes, original guitarist, freak and nephew of the Home Improvement sidedick Wes Borland is back, and, with a return of the original line-up comes also a return to their original sound.
Now, in all likelyhood, your current music tastes have been shaped by the contemporary sonic landscape; pop, pop disguised as r&b, rap and all the jazz with a smattering on whatever indie artist of the moment manages to breakthrough to the airwaves or is featured in your favourite advert. Either that or a certain inclination towards, you know, ‘maturity’. However ‘Gold Cobra’ is none of that. It’s a time capsule stuffed with the attitude and angst of a dozen Matrix watching middle-schoolers. An album like this, right now, devoid of much of the cultural context it used to have and to some degree promulgate, can either be welcome nostalgia or, beleaguered by it’s incongrucies, an unwelcome anachronism… even if it is a legitimate continuation of their creative output.
That being said, this is a Limp Bizkit album. It is what you’ve come to expect, catchy (semi-precious) gems amidst album filler…but in this instance filtered through the sieve of time. Unfortunately, what comes out on the other side leaves behind a little too much. It isn’t quite the same raw, pulpy and understandably hormonally-charged and testosterone-driven sound which threw textbooks against walls and cast comforters down to carpeted flooring. It doesn’t quite sound like the frustrations of a world of social networking, reality TV, and post-9/11 paranoia. The anger has a frivolity and a lack of urgency and despair to it that speaks to an audience that may not any longer exist.
Instrumentally, the album isn’t without effective expression on the part of its musicians. Whereas at times (more times than acceptable, really) the album through Fred Durst, is lyrically immature and comes off as adventures in drunken brochismo with songs such as “Douchebag”, “Shotgun” and “Shark Attack”. The musicianship is very much what you’d expect from Limp Bizkit’s line-up; catchy, simplistic nu-metal sounds created around repetitive riffs and aggressive distortion…ear-candy for angry adolescents and extended-adolescents alike.
Truth be told though, there is something of an overall negative correlation between Durst’s contributions to the album and the rest of band. During Durst’s 15 minutes of fame (and his additional 10 minutes of infamy) the level of criticism levied against him was almost absurd. Now it simply seems proleptic- some of his contributions occasionally baring the same level of appeal as ill-remembered, ‘you-had-to-be-there’ exploits viewed through the inadequate telescopic lensing properties of emptied bottles of Jack Daniel’s.
That isn’t to say that Durst hasn’t had interesting moments on the album- ultimately there really is no Limp Bizkit without him, but, with no derision intended to any of the members, as it was in the past so is it too now; the outfit is very much a vehicle for Durst’s ego (much in the way it was for some of his late 90s contemporaries, e.g. Mark McGrath of ‘Sugar Ray’ fame). It illustrates in an almost textbook manner how a band’s image can be almost totally defined by it’s front man. Ignorant associations by totally-uncool-and-so-out-of-touch suburban parents and the after-school TRL crowd aside- Durst is Limp Bizkit. And that’ll never change. However, it may be time that he does.
I have a tumblr don’t I?
…and there’s still music out there, no?
Gotta get to work
- Timbre: Quality of Sound