With Gold Cobra, Limp Bizkit has tried to create the perfect Limp Bizkit album: irreverent, upbeat, silly, offensive in its immaturity, and totally out of its mind. If they didn't have a legion of dissenters calling shenanigans at their work, they'd be doing something wrong. No one (I hope), least of all myself, expected the band to put out some sort of mid-life crisis filled missive on life and love and fading glory. Bon Iver is for soul searching, Limp Bizkit is just a good soundtrack for making potentially jail-bound mistakes. In that respect, the band is right on the three dollar bill (y'all) with Gold Cobra, a series of nonsense and insults catered to the seventh grader in all of us.
Although pop (like Gaga) gets a pass because its occasionally brilliant, other sub-genres are not forgiven for being bad on purpose. Dragon metal, Weird Al, and other truly "alternative" styles see a critical mass either pretending they don't exist, or putting them up for execution. Let's get one thing straight: if you're going to hold Limp Bizkit up to certain critical darlings, you're probably going to see a very large disparity in lyrical finesse. No one is pretending this is high art.
Gold Cobra does what it probably set out to do; create a bunch of asinine rock songs with catchy riffs, mind-numbing lyrics from Durst, and a series of silly sonic choices, like my new "favorite", a shotgun blast turned into a beat-riff (on, you guessed it, named "Shotgun"). It's important to remember two things when listening to Limp Bizkit: 1. The sound was defined a decade ago, and to stray too far from the formula would be contrary to the band's goals and identity. They aren't Radiohead, they are going for a specific aesthetic and they know their formula works. 2. Everything Limp Bizkit does exists in a world where nothing matters. How many times does Durst need to remind us he doesn't care?
All things considered, Limp Bizkit doesn't exactly nail the timeless don't-give-a-fuckery of their most notorious fist anthems, but I'm not convinced that really matters. The band was largely relegated to "jokes" in the later part of the last decade; who could expect them to come out swinging, staying true to their roots, AND recreating the perfect storm of their original success? Most of their original, immature fans are now facing the forced perspective of being "an adult". It's a different, skeptical, polarizing world out there. The brief homage at the beginning of "Shark Attack" ("Another one of those days", a nod to ) sparked a tiny bit of positive nostalgia in this reviewer, and perhaps that is all Gold Cobra really needs to be successful within the framework of Limp Bizkit. A perfect, awful, crap-spewing platform for Durst's very distinct delivery, with loud drums and noisy riffs, perfect for smashing things with baseball bats. After all, these are the same guys who named an album Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water. If you're trying to take it seriously, you're doing it wrong.