It’s tough to avoid Tenacious D.
Kyle Glass and Jack Black have amassed such a following from their HBO shorts, even people who don’t subscribe to HBO have heard of them.
(Uh-huh. I’m hinting my cable service isn’t all that tricked out.)
With the release of the duo’s self-titled album, the cable-challenged finally get to hear what all the fuss is about. And yeah — that’s some funny shit they got going there.
Most folks will probably find humor in the lyrics — talk about Kielbasa sausage and warm butt cheeks, gentle fucking, Dio’s relevance, destroying city hall and of course, the supremacy of Tenacious D.
But the real humor lies in how Glass and Black satirize every rock ‘n’ roll cliché in the book — all through music.
Take “Tribute”, a song paying tribute to the greatest song of the world. How many songs can lampoon “Dueling Banjos”, Devo and prog-rock all in four minutes and eight seconds?
The square-wave synthesizer effects and strings on “Wonderboy” are delivered with such seriousness, it shines a harsh light on just how pompous rock ‘n’ roll can really get.
Even the full band arrangements, which include drumming and guitar work from Foo Fighter Dave Grohl, come across as ridiculous. Funny how a power chord can be a tool of humor in the right context.
And while it may be tempting to just find this album on a file sharing service, listeners would be doing themselves a great disservice by skipping over the cover art.
The devil imagery, the stark “Bohemian Rhapsody” face close-ups and the Smashing Pumpkins typography — it’s all a complete package.
Perhaps the most stinging revelation about Tenacious D is the fact other artists have recorded songs every bit as ridiculous as the ones on this album — and thought they were complete serious.
Who said rock ‘n’ roll was about music? It’s all theater, man.