Sound — 9
Tenacious D was a band I discovered in my early days of high school via a friend. He was telling me how hilarious it was, and that he needed to make me a copy of the album. I took a listen to a couple of skits, then a couple of songs. It had me interested to the point where I decided to go home and research them, eventually leading to me getting their HBO shows on DVD. A great purchase, I might add. The thing that made Tenacious D a stand out band for me was the fact that the music writing on their first album was on par with or in some cases surpassing the comedy of the lyrics. I had head other comedy artists before like Richard Cheese and Weird Al, but Tenacious D was something different. Fast forward several years later, Tenacious D had released a movie and a 2nd album to accompany it, both of which were met with "meh" reviews, which saddened me, and made me doubtful of what would become of both Jack & Kyle's careers, not to mention the passing comments from Kyle & Jack of their uncertainty of the bands future. And now, here we are: Jack & Kyle have prevailed and returned with a third album. It appears to me as though the article UG had on them recently saying that rock & roll needed a shot in the arm and that they wish to draw inspiration and hopefully be better than bands like The Foo Fighters were very truthful. This album has all the old hallmarks of their first album, while incorporating a lot more than just the two guitars and some drums every now and then. This is a full on rock album. It manages to imitate other artist styles while still keeping the songs their own, and giving you some material to laugh at if you're listening closely. The couple of skits are there, but there's a lot more pure music coming out of these two than ever before, and some of Kyle's writing here really brings me back.
Lyrics — 7
Jack is actually a great singer, and manages to pay tribute to a few classic rock artists by almost mimicking them spot-on in a few songs, but also throwing in his traditional "scat" here and there which is good for a laugh but is also a decent replacement for a guitar solo on occasion. Kyle provides backing vocals that were just as clear as they were years ago on their HBO episodes and first album. I also admire them for coming out swinging on their first track which addresses the fans and critics disappointment with their previous effort, "The Pick Of Destiny". The lyrics are mostly good but I'm a little unsettled with a few verses, and I can agree with a part of the UG review of this album; that some of it is distastefully vulgar. It's like a Sacha Baron Cohen movie. Sometimes his shock value and vulgarity will bring you to tears laughing, other times it's just too much and isn't funny anymore. The same can be said for a couple of spots here on "Rise Of The Fenix". All in all though, the album is pretty well written, especially for a comedy album.
Overall Impression — 8
As said earlier, I find this comparable, if not better, to their first album in terms of musical skill, slightly less so in comedy, but they hold their own here, and they definitely borrow a lot of style from other artists, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. My favorite tracks on here (contrary to what the UG reviewer said) are actually going to be "Low Hangin' Fruit" which inspired me to pick up my acoustic guitar and learn the main riff really quick because I found it catchy after a couple of listens, "39" and "Quantum Leap", although most of the other songs on here are very good too. Those three just really stick with me after the 4 or 5 listens I've given the album so far. I'm sure I'll get hooked on a couple of other tracks as soon as I give this a few spins in my car on the rides to work and back. I'd buy the album again if it was taken, as I feel Jack & Kyle still need and appreciate the support from their fans. And I sincerely hope they keep making new material. It hasn't got old yet, and I don't think it will for a while.