Tenacious D makes move into music

by Dave Waldman

The album Tenacious D (Epic Records) is the work of vocalist-guitarists Jack Black and Kyle Gass. They first gained recognition from their 1999 HBO TV-series, also called "Tenacious D."

The duo earned even more popularity on the silver screen. Jack Black has made cameos in High Fidelity, Saving Silverman and I Still Know What You Did Last Summer. Kyle Gass has had appearances in Evolution and Bio-Dome.

For their debut album, Black and Gass consult some of music's finest. Tenacious D is produced by the Dust Brothers (John King and Michael Simpson). Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters adds his guitar expertise to some of the album's tracks, and Phish's Page McConnell checks in on keyboards.

The CD is packed with dry and dark humor. In a one-minute-and-two-second song about a mutual friend, Lee, Tenacious D manages to say "Lee" 64-times. Each song has a distinct tone and character that describes the duo's lives.

Dialogues between Black and Gass touch on the band's lasting friendship, karate and the mysterious disappearance of Black's Schnitzel. The duo's absurdity is easily discernable in its testament to band life, "The Road." In the song, Tenacious D explains that the demands of being in a band consume the ability to have social relationships.

"Tribute" recounts the tale of Tenacious D and a demon. Drawing parallels from the Charlie Daniel Band's "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" the demon asks Tenacious D to play the best song in the world. If they do not, the demon will eat their souls. Tenacious D plays the most fantastic song they can muster and defeat the demon. Jack Black's scat-like lyrics form an amusing harmony.

Tenacious D's transition between the use of acoustic and electric guitar give the album a variety of sounds. In "Wonderboy," eager ears will hear the appearance of a violin, along with Black's conventional scat style.

The song meanings have a Spinal Tap sense to them, amplifying the hilarity of the album. Tenacious D's album is delightfully pleasing, and is a great first step in the duo's history.
Tenacious D is in stores now.

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