Album Review: Tenacious D – Rize Of The Fenix – Released 14th May

Tenacious D
Rize Of The Fenix

It’s been six years since Tenacious D have released anything, since their last album ‘The Pick of Destiny’ didn’t have as much success as the first album ‘Tenacious D’, they went quiet. But now Jack Black and Kyle Gass are back with a 13 song album, with the usual comedy rock stylings, it would appear that Tenacious D are back on top form. Recorded in their friend’s garage – “we recorded down and dirty in a friend’s garage with a shoestring budget of $600.”

The band described the making of this album as a “journey similar to that of Gandolph in The Lord of the Rings.” After the bad reception from ‘The Pick of Destiny’ they realised something had to be done. Kyle Gass adds “there we were – just like Gandolph the grey, down in the muck – but we never gave up, we defeated our own personal demons and began chipping away, slowly climbing back to the land of the living – when we emerged we were no longer the old Tenacious D, we were Gandolph the white, with new powers and wisdom and bravery and skills.”

The album starts with ‘Rize Of The Fenix’, the lyrics talk about their down fall and rising again, great song, clearly hoping this song is a hit and brings them back to the top ‘we only need one hit, yeh we are hoping this is it’. Very catchy, musically it’s genius. It could definitely be a hit.

The Classical Teacher’ is the first hilarious interlude on the album. Black’s intent on being the best band in the world, “almost as good as Arcade Fire”, he hires a Spanish guitarist, Felix Char (Black) to help Gass with his guitar technique. Flutes and Trombones is another interlude, Black catches Gass in the studio late at night, and questions are asked about their musical intentions.
Senorita has a Spanish feel to the song, a flamenco guitar riff track. A love song about Black avenging and protecting Conchita, his Spanish senorita, Larry is the villain who broke Conchita’s heart. Loved this song, made me laugh and loved the Spanish feel.

Roadie a song dedicated to the hidden heroes of live music, ‘without me there’d be no sound from those amps, without me there’d be no lights on the stage, but you don’t applaud for me’. It’s almost like a rock ballad. Another song that has a similar theme is Ballad of Hollywood Jack and The Rage Cage, about the turmoil Gass goes through as Black ruined his indie image to make money in Hollywood, and their inevitable and kick-ass reunion.

Rock Is Dead a rock jam about the death of rock, with an awesome guitar solo from Gass, a short song at only 1minute and 44 seconds. They F****d Our Asses is another short song, it sounds like a middle finger up to critics.

The last song on the album is not a song you’re expecting, but it is almost on the same lines as ‘F**k Her Gently’ from the first album. It’s a song about Black’s thirty-nine year old sex interest, Black channels a husky voice, like Bruce Springsteen. It’s definitely a song for the loyal fans.
Other songs that appear on the album are: Low Hanging Fruit, Deth Starr, Throwdown and To Be The Best. There is also an extra track for the people that pre order 5 Needs.

A good come back for Tenacious D, looks like they are back to their old ways. I’m sure their fans with the ‘D’ tattoos will be happy. Comical lyrics and amazing music.

Review by Christina Benneworth

Listings Information

Tenacious D are touring the UK
June 5th O2 Brixton Academy, London (sold out)
June 6th O2 Brixton Academy, London
June 7th O2 Brixton Academy, London
June 9th Donnington Park, Download Festival
June 10th O2 Apollo, Manchester
June 12th SECC, Glasgow