After a six-year break, Tenacious D have returned with ‘Post-Apocalypto’, the duo’s fourth album. As with previous releases, the album is tied with visual media, this time as an accompaniment to their animated YouTube series, Tenacious D In Post-Apocalypto.
The concept itself is very strong: the duo have found themselves in the apocalypse and must use their powers of rock to save humanity. One of the main issues found within this release is that, due to its nature, a lot of the skits involved need context within the series to make sense.
Regardless of this, the tracks themselves do have moments of genius attached to them. ‘Hope’ relies on Jack Black‘s soft croon to legitimise absurd lyrics involving two headed dogs and dragons. Whilst parodying ballads reserved for acts such as Meatloaf with building strings and delicate finger picking, the track doesn’t quite reach the crescendo that’s promised.
With ‘Making Love’, Black and Kyle Gass manage to pull off vulgar magic by sinking catchy hooks amidst the need to relieve sexual tension. As the sultry vocals of the verse build, the dynamics fall to a soft piano lead. The use of tension is executed perfectly, allowing swinging drums and abrupt electric guitars to drive the track home.
One of the strongest tracks on the album, ‘Daddy Ding Dong’, reminds you of how potent Tenacious D can be. Melding thrash metal with country, the track races through galloping riffs and sliding guitar leads with glee. The musicianship of session guitarist John Konesky is on full display, with scale runs and tapping techniques squeezed into every nook.
Whilst most of the skits don’t really land, ‘March’ stands out for not only sitting well between tracks, but it also works as a song. Taking the form of a military chant, the line “We like barbeque / We like guns too / And we don’t like gays” will stay in your head days later.
Towards the end of the album, ‘Woman Time’ brings a much needed burst of energy, working with heavy palm-muting and Dio influenced vocals, Tenacious D stomp through riffs to create a memorable track.
Disappointingly, ‘Post-Apocalypto’ is fairly disjointed compared to previous releases, with the wit and charm that works for the duo rarely present. There may be standout tracks littered across the album, but they are few and far between.