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'Rize Of The Fenix'
(Columbia Records)

Daryl Soar

daryl soar

The D's latest outing kicks off to a flying start with a rock opera, 'Rize Of The Fenix', fit for the kings of comedy. The lyrics mock the 'Pick Of Destinies'' failure to continue the Tenacious D legend and make light of the six year gap. Blasting into overdrive the song's wild riff and style changes would be enough to raise a smile on even the Reaper's face and I was powerless to resist. The production is excellent, the guitar work perfect and Jack's voice better than ever.

tenacious d rize of the fenix

The opening of 'Kielbasa' haunts the next few numbers. "Better, closer, warmer". While 'Low Hangin' Fruit' puts in a valiant attempt to maintain the momentum. The next three tracks appear to be more a half-hearted parody than the real Tenacious D. The mock conversation is funny but not ball splittingly so and 'Deth Starr' is so derivative of 'City Hall' it feels at times as if only the lyrics have been changed. The songs are good but not great.

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But then, the "that's it" moment: 'Roadie', sixth track of the album changes the game.

Everything from here on in is foot tappingly great acoustic rock drawing from what must be the last 45 years of rock history. The 'Ballad Of Hollywood Jack' would not be out of place on the D's debut album. '39' is a touch of genius that is sure to resonate with everyone's life at some point.

The guitar work is better than ever. The song-craft is fantastic. The breadth of influence wider than before. And the entertainment value of the music beyond question. This is the first time I've truly enjoyed flutes and trumpets on a rock album.

I won't ruin the gags or spoil the surprises, so rather than read me waxing lyrical about the intimate details, I suggest you go out and buy it.

I'm off to buy an uncensored copy as I got the clean version.



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