The disappointing ratings and viewings at the box office for Tenacious D‘s ‘The Pick Of Destiny’ cinema outing has been well documented, though the sales and chart positions for its accompanying soundtrack album were a complete polar opposite, debuting at #8 in the Billboard 200. Clearly, the music fanbase is far more supportive and loving of Jack Black and Kyle Gass‘ work than film nuts, and though knocked back the duo have emerged from the ashes six years on with their new album, ‘Rize Of The Fenix’. That’s right, The D are back.
As in true Tenacious D fashion, the jokes come in thick and fast through the 40 minutes or so that make up ‘Rize Of The Fenix’, embedded within and delivered through their acoustic and, at times, almost operatic comedy rock. Lyrically, Jables and Kage tackle topics and formulate fictional stories far and wide, from their solution to the world’s problems is living in outer-space (‘Deth Starr’) and the often underappreciated role of a roadie (‘Roadie’), to defending the honour of a fair Spanish lady (‘Señorita’).
Album closer ’39’ could also be considered as the updated and a little more country styled version of the ever popular ‘Fuck Her Gently’ from their full-length debut, detailing the far from perfect imagery of a 39-year-old woman being “good enough” for JB, right down to the “boobies droopin'” and how she’s “trimmed her pussy hairs”. Some graphic yet hilarious stuff.
Not all the substance is within the band’s lyrics however. Title-track opener ‘Rize Of The Fenix’ is the longest track the band have released since ‘City Hall’, leading into the track with a western styled riff with Jack Black taking their film flop all in their stride, “When ‘The Pick Of Destiny’ was released it was a bomb / And all the critics said that The D was done”. We’re then brought through some a Dio-esque high pitch vocalled chorus turning into an epic journey of the band’s plans to just write that one hit to prove all of them wrong. Following track ‘Low Hangin’ Fruit’ inputs an almost breakdown styled main riff, ‘Throwdown’ has a great swing to it and ‘To Be The Best’ is just begging to be the perfect track to train to at the gym… on repeat of course, it’s only a minute long.
More than a decade on from their self-titled record, Tenacious D are still the band who once wrote the best song in the world, forgot about it, and remembered it again when confronting Satan himself. They’ve still got plenty of jokes to chuck out about nearly anything, all whilst paying homage in their own way to their rock heroes. And, if you wanted something else to laugh at, look carefully at the body of the phoenix/fenix on the album’s cover. Ring any bells?
Written by Zach Redrup