Limp Bizkit

Gold Cobra

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Coming to the conclusion that The Unquestionable Truth was so powerful it never needed the promised second volume, Limp Bizkit went on hiatus during the back half of the 2000s, with leader Fred Durst finding far more critical acclaim as a film director than he ever did as a singer. Despite these grudging hosannas, Durst felt compelled to reunite the Bizkit, to wipe away the memories of the bungled prog of The Unquestionable Truth and the Wes Borland-less "Repeat as Necessary," to find a way to tap into the anger that started the whole ball rolling. A tough task for any band, but apart from dabbling with Auto-Tune -- the quivering electronic vocal effect that gets skewered on “AutoTunage” -- Limp Bizkit is intent on rolling back the clock and returning to the full-throttled attack of Three Dollar Bill Y’All. If the band is determined to act as if the last 15 years never happened, Durst is determined to act as if he’s 15, still slinging grievous arrows at anybody who may have gotten in his way. Context counts and adolescent angst is a bit harder to stomach coming from a grown man than it is from a twentysomething, particularly if that adult is a millionaire who now looks a bit like Michael Stipe’s heavier brother. Durst still can’t stop himself squawking whenever he’s angry, and he’s angry often: he’s mad about Auto-Tune, he’s mad about the douche bags in Beverly Hills, he wonders why he should try, he thinks you should get a life and prepare yourself for a “Shark Attack.” Minus a detail or two, it’s the same set of grievances he’s been peddling since the beginning, the similarities so striking it’s surely as intentional as Bizkit hauling out their pre-millennial metallic grind, acting as if the W years never happened. Sure, as sheer sound, it’s executed well -- more assured, musical, and, well, professional than any of their other albums, their age lending them a dexterity absent in their hits -- but the deliberate retro-rage begs the question: who exactly is this music for? Is it intended to hook in a new batch of frustrated sputtering teens or is it for dejected, disappointed adults who have yet to shake adolescent resentments? Safe money is on the latter, but that only suggests that all this rage is a calculated act, that Limp Bizkit -- whose members are far smarter than their art, as any interview with Durst or Borland proves -- only acts this way because it’s all they know how to do or because it sells…at least it did at one time.

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