Album Review: Tenacious D - 'Rize Of The Fenix'

25 May 2012 | 11:35 am | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

What you would expect from a record with a hidden penis on the cover.

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After their hugely popular debut many questioned what sort of longevity a band like Tenacious D could have. I mean come on, a joke rock band who got noticed due to the Hollywood celebrity status of their front man, what more could really be expected?

Unfortunately for the D, their second album and accompanying film, 'The Pick Of Destiny,' was a bomb, something the band admit to straight away in the opening lines of the title track from their third release, 'Rize Of The Fenix.' The duo then go on to claim that regardless of the film's poor performance, the band will rise again (like a Phoenix, get it?) to become the biggest band in the world blah blah blah.

Herein lies the issue, Tenacious D are recycling the same formula they have used before but they are forgetting to make it better, which is why 'Rize Of The Phoenix' is really only good for a few chuckles. Musically you can expect the same acoustic driven rock that the band are known for, with slight breakaways every now and then like in the Spanish guitar drenched Senorita, but the catchy chorus lines similar to the ones in their biggest hit Tribute are nowhere to be found.

Even the skits, which are usually the funniest moments of a D album, are trimmed down to a mere couple, one of which isn't even that humorous. There are a couple of moments where the duo recapture some of their former glory, mainly in Death Starr, a song which claims the worlds problems can be solved by building Death Stars to live on, and Roadie, a tune that the D treated audiences to a sneak peak of on their support tour of the Foo Fighters this year, which chronicles the trials and tribulations of the road crew quite well. The rest of the album is classic rock filler with slightly comedic subject matter that never quite reaches amazing heights.

A friend of mine, and long time fan of Tenacious D, summed this record up for me fairly well before I had even heard it, he said "The D are still awesome, but I like what they do less and less." This pretty much nails it as fans of the band will always have a soft spot for their humour, but it is pretty clear now that they will never be able to replicate what once was.

1. Rize of the Fenix
2. Low Hangin' Fruit
3. Classical Teacher
4. Señorita
5. Deth Starr
6. Roadie8
7. Flutes & Trombones
8. The Ballad of Hollywood Jack and the Rage Kage
9. Throw Down
10. Rock Is Dead
11. They Fucked Our Asses
12. To Be the Best
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