Friday, January 07, 2011

FDF Vol 3 Issue 211: Tenacious D - Tenacious D

Album - Tenacious D
Artist - Tenacious D
Key Players - Kyle Gass - lead guitar, vocals. Jack Black - guitar, lead vocals.
Produced By - The Dust Brothers

Release Date - September 21, 2001

What caused me to blow off the dust? - I've been meaning to get back to this record for some time. This is and was a real gem at the time, but it has been a very long time.

Overview - The duo met in 1989 and formed the band in 1994. The band would perform mostly cover tunes in their sets and were nameless until 1994. The term "Tenacious D" came from the basketball term used by the broadcasters to describe a teams defensive efforts. The band would be cast in "Mr Show" in the late 1990's and continued to hone their craft. The band would release their debut in 2001 and the album, filled with guests from Dave Grohl to Page McConnell (Phish) the album would peak at number 33. They'd go on to release a second album, a sound track for a film "The Pick of Destiny". Both were considered flops, although the film is starting to gain more of a cult following.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - The album opens with "Kielbasa". The song is an ode to the love of a "backside". After the guys talk about a "better and warmer" sound the two acoustic guitars get to work. The lyrics are fun, funny and awful catchy. Even though the band is viewed more as an acoustic duo there is a full band feel to this track with wah-wah guitars and full drums. The first of many skits comes next in "One Note Song". Here Gass and Black write a "one note song" and "bend it from time to time. Next song..NEXT SONG. The biggest track from a commercial standpoint comes in "Tribute". A lone acoustic guitar plays before Black says "this is the greatest and best song in the world". This song would go to #4 in Australia and the slow build up about the demos, and performing the best song in world. After about a minute and half the full band comes in. The duo showcases their strong vocal ability and heavy work on their acoustic guitars. The duo does some sort of "skat" breakdown that is real fun and the song returns back and confesses this is just a tribute to the greatest song around. "Wonderboy" starts off real calm, but the drums come in and give it a hard punch. Black goes high on the chorus and we get more of a rock feel with buzzy electric guitars. Black speaks a story of wonderboy as the band continues to roll. Sportscenter still uses the line "Its Levitation Homes" during their re-caps of hoops games on a fair came from here. We get mixed messages from the skit of "Hard Fucking" where they ask to see if ladies really like it that when, then quickly the song begins "Fuck Her Gently". A very mellow acoustic, preachy love song from Black. A message that the band wants to pass to its fans. Black and Gass really shine in the end of this track vocally. "Explosivo" is a track that starts off a little slow but quickly builds. Turns out to be the fastest sung and played track on the album to this point. The band always professed their love for Ronnie James Dio and he got his due on the track "Dio". The D want Dio to pass the torch to them. The D often would tease "Holy Diver" in a live setting to further convince the audience their love. They ask him for a cape and seprtre and the full band gets a work out. Big rock chords and driving drums shine. On the "Inward Singing" skit Black tries to convince Gass that they can cut to the chase by singing inward and outward. Black is convinced the band is only rocking half the time. The duo fights and the track "Kyle Quit the Band" is the result. Actually Black tries to fire him. A touching fun track about the joyous reunion. Another rowdy rocker comes in "The Road" a song about life on the road. It has a little country/rockabilly feel. The band does a skit about "Cock Push-Ups" and how these will help with the ladies once they are even more huge rock stars. "Lee" is another real quick barn burner of a track with quick guitars, drums and machine gun delivered lyrics..mostly just saying "Lee". "Friendship Test" is a skit where Black calls Gass to tell him he loves him and Gass can't reciprocate so that leads in to the song "Friendship". Another skit follows with "Karate Schnitzel" where Black is upset that Gass at his food. Black gives him a whack karate style and again its a perfect seg to "Karate" where they vow to pull out pubic hair...yikes. Another ripper comes in "Rock Your Socks". This track has some of the Page McConnell keyboard tones Phish fans may be familiar with. It is another rolling rocker for sure. One of the more popular skits from the record is "Drive-Thru" where the duo goes to a fast food joint and can't decide what to order. We do know a Jnr. Bacon Chee is ordered as well as a SMALL Seasoned well as the 1/2 coke 1/2 diet coke..oh..and some fish..cuz I'm trying to lose some weight. "Double Team" falls back to a more mellow duo acoustic number but after a few verses it gets a lot more rowdy..since the idea is Black and Gass are coming to get you. The final track on the album is listed as "City Hall" and epic track about the legalization of marijuana. The band rants and raves to try to "get this done!" The song blends each of the fun elements of the D, the spoken portions, the big guitars and the high harmonies. A "hidden" track follows after called "Malibu Nights" another fun run for Black that is over about as quickly as it starts.

Where are they now? - The D are still considered an "active"band but the band writes and performs at their own pace. Gass keeps busy writing, recording and performing as part of "Trainwreck". Black keeps busy as an actor and voice over performer for video games and cartoon series. In recent interviews Black has reported that the band is writing new material and hope to have a new album out in 2011.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) - I've never seen the band live.

FDF Overall Take - It is a lot of fun, honest. Seven of the tracks are "comedy" bits so that is a nice change. One review seemed to nail it on the head though, saying the first few listens are a lot of fun, but the replay value really only comes in playing the album for people that haven't heard it yet. That is true, as fun as the record can be it doesn't need a ton of listens. Still, when its strong, its real strong. Worth your time, but find a used copy.

Official site is here and myspace is here.

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

the mp3's were taken down by the hosting site..sorry!

Drive Thru (Skit)
Inward Singing (Skit)

Tracks taken from the debut album which you can buy here.

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.


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