Mock rock has the fun fac­tor

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - E Guide Music -

THERE is an im­por­tant guy dressed in black at ev­ery rock ’ n’ roll gig. He hides in the shad­ows, gets no glory or groupies, but he is a vi­tal part of the show.

On Tena­cious D’s third al­bum, the hum­ble roadie fi­nally gets his mo­ment in the spot­light, with ac­tor Jack Black singing: ‘‘ Check- a, check- a, one, two, three/ I plug it in/ I make it sound as good as can be’’. It’s a sim­ple ode but long over­due.

Com­edy- rock duo The D – Black and his part­ner in crime, co­me­dian Kyle Gass – are back to save rock ’ n’ roll. They say it died in re­cent years and it’s hard to ar­gue with them.

How­ever, it’s not clear how a par­ody of a come­back al­bum that ac­tu­ally is a come­back al­bum was go­ing to save any­thing at all. In­stead, Rize of the Fenix is a never- end­ing cav­al­cade of lofty rock prom­ises that rarely de­liv­ers more than a few belly laughs.

To their credit, The D bor­rows from the best, the al­bum is full of AC/ DC- ap­ing power chords and Queen- like changes in mood and tempo.

Clearly they don’t want to be ‘‘ al­most as good as Ar­cade Fire’’. Meow! Their mu­sic is a throw­back to the bright and shiny days of ’ 80s me­tal with some coun­try, folk and prog- rock splashed into the mix.

It’s doubt­ful that Black and Gass have real mu­si­cal chops. But their mates sure do. Foo Fighter Dave Grohl on drums, John Spiker from Fil­ter con­tribut­ing bass, pi­ano and or­gans, and un­der­rated gui­tar player John Konesky shreds his strings with reck­less aban­don.

Grohl’s drum­ming on Death Starr ( sec­ond R to avoid lit­i­ga­tion?) is im­pec­ca­ble.

Not to be rude, but it’s kind of a shame that he’s de­liv­ered such a mas­ter­ful, thun­der­clap of a per­for­mance on some­one else’s joke record.

An­other high­light is The Bal­lad of Hol­ly­wood Jack and the Rage Kage, a good- old fash­ioned tune about band in­fight­ing. It’s amus­ing, mu­si­cally pleas­ing and it rings true.

Black has got his mul­ti­mil­lion- dol­lar movie ca­reer to fall back on, he’s Hol­ly­wood A- List, while Gass is, well, that bald and fat guy.

The guys have some fun with this one and it works beau­ti­fully, blur­ring the lines be­tween fact and fic­tion like an episode of TMZ.

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