Music Review: Rize of the Fenix by Tenacious D

By Vanessa Butler

Tenacious D returns triumphantly to the world of rock with their latest album Rize of the Fenix

The last time I listened to Tenacious D was six years ago. I was driving with two girlfriends, singing along to “Tribute” on our way to get the most god-awful tattoo concept ever buzzed into my body for eternity. I wanted “Made in the ’80s” etched into the bottom of my foot as if I were a doll. Luckily, fate was on my side and the place was booked up. Six years later I am happy to say that I don’t have any foot tattoos, and Tenacious D has returned with a vengeance to revive the seemingly dead genre of rock ’n’ roll with their newest album, Rize of the Fenix.

In their 13-track album, which they describe as a “journey similar to that of Gandolph [sic] in The Lord of the Rings,” Tenacious D’s comically skewed insights on women, life and rock music are charming. The rock revival album was unironically recorded in producer John Kimbrough’s garage and features frontmen Jack Black and Kyle Gass as well as Dave Grohl on drums; John Spiker on bass, piano and organ; and John Konesky on electric guitar.

It’s kind of hard to review an album like this without sounding like I’m explaining all of the jokes for you. The album is what you would expect from a comedy rock album. The title track “Rize of the Fenix” is an ode to the band’s history, highlighting both the positive and negative and how they hope to rise again with this third album. I laughed while listening to “Rock Is Dead,” enjoyed every passionate battle cry that came out of Jack Black’s mouth, and shared the “Roadie” music video that played on Funny or Die with friends.

Black and Gass are talented guys and it’s nice to see comedic music acts like Tenacious D and others have staying power in today’s fickle pop culture. You should really check out their tour this summer; comedy albums are great, but they’re even better when you’re seeing them live. 


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