For years, Jack Black and Kyle Gass have sailed through their career on a comedic wave of foot-stomping, energetic and deliciously self-loving, anthemic rock n’ roll. Since announcing that a new album was in the works in 2008, they’ve kept us waiting and for a while it looked like it wasn’t going to happen. Had a herd of pigs flown through the sky to, low and behold, a sudden growth of maturity in the band? An epiphany perhaps? But, no fear of that, ever-serving, Tenacious D are back, and back with a bang.
Rize Of The Fenix stays true to the Tenacious D religion, packed with pure, ass-kicking, brain-melting metal (with the usual skits thrown in). Except this time, the guitars are a little heavier, drums a little louder, and vocals ever more glass-shatteringly high. Tricking you into a false sense of sincerity, ‘Roadie’ and ‘Throw Down’ brings the usual strident humour in a somewhat sombre setting, strumming through an upbeat array of riffs, not lacking an explosive finish.
Never short of expletives and beyond ridiculous lyrics, tracks ‘Low Hangin’ Fruit’ and ‘Rize Of The Fenix’ are true to form, full of self-appreciation and aggression, with ‘Rock Is Dead’ and ‘39’ bound to induce some serious air guitar. There is also a welcome re-appearance by Dave Grohl on drums, adding ever more to the undeniable force of rock on this record. Those who waited so long for this will be easily pleased. However for the few fans who may have grown up a little since ’08 and were hoping for the same change with their idols, unfortunately the genitalia jokes and face-pulling are still lingering.