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Tenacious D, the self-proclaimed “Greatest Band On Earth,” is back with a new album, ‘Rize Of The Fenix.’ It will be released on May 15, six years after the latest studio album ‘The Pick of Destiny’. The rock duo, composed of Jack Black and Kyle Gass, uses the ironic approach, in this album, that has always characterized Tenacious D.
Black and Gass demonstrate with this album that they can make fun of pretty much everything, themselves included, nevertheless playing some very serious and solid rock ‘n’ roll. Furthermore, the drumming of Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters, Nirvana), who serves as drummer for the studio recordings of this album, is unmistakable. After all, Grohl is one of the best drummers in the world.
The album opens with the song ‘Rize of the Fenix’, which re-establishes the presence of Tenacious D in the music scene. The listener will move in the album within funny lyrics, roaring guitars, and blooming drumming. Everything is enriched by the presence of a couple of skits, which give a strong sense of rock opera, recalled by the entire structure of the album. Every track, as well as the album cover (it features a penis), is full of sexual references which have to be taken for what they are: not offensive, just classically silly.
The best songs of the record are ‘Rize Of The Fenix,’ ‘Roadie,’ ‘Ballad of Hollywood Jack and the Rage Kage,’ ‘Throw Down’ and ‘Rock Is Dead,’ capturing and enhancing the whole approach used by”The D”, both musically and in terms of attitude.
The album is really enjoyable, easy to listen to, goes on smoothly, and does not get boring after few listens. It catches the listeners with great rock sonorities, and entertains them with comedy. Black’s voice sounds rougher than in the previous records, more old-school-rock and blues-style oriented.
The message that Tenacious D sends is a genuine one: don’t take everything so seriously. This does not prevent them from addressing, in the song ‘Rock Is Dead,’ one of the main issues of the current state of music and rock ‘n’ roll.
When Peter Travers, of Rolling Stones, asked about the thoughts behind the song, Jack Black said that he feels like the only great rock acts left in the industry are the Foo Fighters, Jack White, and the Black Keys.
“When you think about rock, at its origin, you think of the Beatles and millions of kids screaming as loud as they can and running as fast as they can toward the Beatles. There is no one that is that kind of lightning rod. I contend that the last band to really have that kind of power was Nirvana,” says Black.
Rize of The Fenix is probably the best work by Tenacious D so far, with a sound that is completely mature, and an attitude that never matured instead.
Image Courtesy of Tenacious D