It’s been over a decade since TENACIOUS D first rocked speakers with their phenomenal debut album, and in that time the duo of Jack Black and Kyle Gass have witnessed their comedic musical offspring take a career path much like the bands they’ve been known to parody. The epic first album followed by a sophomore slump, the backlash, years of inactivity, and finally the inevitable rise from the ashes. It would be pretty funny if this was actually all by design. Ha Ha – the joke’s on you, rock critics and music industry!
Personally, I’m an admitted D-fanboy, to the point where I even covered their song “Friendship” at an open-mic night once upon a time. Have the D made a bad album? No. But nothing will ever top the first record. Where THE PICK OF DESTINY (2006) failed is that the album was also the soundtrack to a film that the general public didn’t understand. THE COMPLETE MASTERWORKS DVD series was excellent, but it didn’t keep the “band” in the mainstream spotlight, and interest faded.
RIZE OF THE FENIX (2012) fixes that, presenting a D-styled “comeback” record that has the mainstream media talking about TENACIOUS D again. In that, they’ve already won.
Musically, RIZE is as close as you’ll get to the 2001 debut without surpassing it, but it’s dirtier… to the point where I have to be cautious in exactly what I tell you about it on a mostly-family-friendly site like The Rock Father (I can’t even show you the real cover). What I will say is that it’s “rock n’ roll,” and good rock at that. Where the band once discussed The Road, they’re now back on it with the Roadie. It’s both grimy and funny.
The Bottom Line: The D hath Risen once more – but will the audience be listening? For the power of rock, I sure hope so.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars