Tenacious D – Rize of the Fenix

Why the hate towards Pick of Destiny? I’ve still have to meet ONE person that actually hates it completely. Sure, I know that Kyle Gass has commented on some of the faults in the film (which I don’t mind, but I see where he’s shooting from) but the album was good and, let’s face it, ‘Beezelboss’ is fucking awesome (truly the best song in the world).

No, really, why did the film tanked? Every single person I’ve shown the film, they enjoy it, even if they hate the genre (including our very own webcomic illustrator, who is now a fan of the band).

6 years and now we have the return of Tenacious D. After the very funny pre-emptive strike that was the short video for ‘To be the best‘, we now have Rize of the Fenix, a very funny album that also manages to rock out quite well. I don’t know if the adjective “mature” applies here, though, but several critics keep bandying it around this release.

I’d go for cohesive and with great flow. The songs are satisfyingly rocking, with that witty (and puerile) humour that the band so well crafts. ‘Rize of the Fenix’ is a self-assessment of the past 6 years for the band, the turmoil and their Meat Loaf-style comeback. Jokes about tattoos are always good too and the bombastic nature of the track makes it an awesome choice for an opener (and easily a gem).

Again, the humour of the band is present, fully engaged on puerile mode (‘Low hangin’ fruit’ sounds like the love life many of us have) and even  the shenanigans of the industry (‘Roadie’ is both awesome and true). “Epic” is another adjective to use in the songs, as there is a penchant for embracing how rock can be extremely operatic and bombastic, like in the melodramatic ‘Señorita’, the sci fi trip ‘Deth Starr’ which is as amazing as Firefly (I said it – also, it sounds like Stone Temple Pilots’ ‘And so I know’) and the showstopper called ‘The ballad of Hollywood Jack and The Rage Kage’, which again chronicles the turmoil in Tenacious D.

For the ones who enjoy their skits (a big part of the soul of Tenacious D), there’s longer sequences here. ‘Classical teacher’ is pretty funny, playing out how the band could kick Arcade Fire‘s asses (fact!), ‘Flutes & Trombones’ is what happens when both JB and KG want to add some extra instrumentation to a track and ‘They fucked our asses’ is that sour lamentation (with the inevitable call to arms ‘To be the best’).

An uncle in Tampico always remarked that he thought rock was ridiculous not because of the sounds, but because of the posturing and excesses that later become tropes and running jokes in parodies. When a band manages to take those tired stereotypes and play with them while still making some really enjoyable rocking tunes (and funny videos), the gain is evident. Thanks, Tenacious D, may you keep rocking that devil horn and its hazy smoke.

Oh, and David Grohl drums here. That is awesome.

Words: Sam J. “I’ve got a pick of destiny replica in my wallet” Valdes Lopez

Tenacious D Website. Facebook. Twitter.

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