Their follow up project “The Pick Of Destiny” (Both an album and a motion picture) didn’t do so well, (At the box-office especially) losing money and receiving mixed to negative reviews; it seemed like they’d undertaken too much…perhaps their fifteen minutes was already up? The joke seemingly already wearing thin…however to the surprise of many, they returned in 2012 with the attempted come-back album “Rise Of The Fenix”. A shot at redemption, it did get them nominated for a Grammy award for Best Comedy Album, but the quality simply wasn’t matching up to their debut and although they’d grown as musicians, they’d faded somewhat as entertainers. This leads us to 2018 and again, surprisingly, we find The D releasing another studio album’ “Post-Apocalypto”. Another concept here, it coincides with their own mini animated YouTube series (I use the term animated very loosely) following their struggles and adventures in, you guessed it, a post-apocalyptic world…but is it worth the listen?
We open up with the “Post-Apocalypto Theme” and as it acts as the animations theme song it really is only a brief jingle at best…a pacey flurry of acoustic guitar and percussion backing Jack Black’s trademark dramatic vocal. It’s up-tempo, catchy enough and easy listening, ironically ending with the line ‘Tenacious D has got to shine’…almost acknowledging previous failures. Sadly, not only are any further ACTUAL musical highlights so few and far between, over an album consisting of TWENTY ONE tracks bare in mind…but those twenty one tracks only have a 30 MINUTE run time…this really isn’t boding well. The tracks (If you can call them that honestly) that do manage to stand out are “Hope”, which delivers a sweet little acoustic ditty that transitions its way into a power ballad of sorts…there’s “Making Love” which can be looked upon in one of two ways; either it’s a spiritual successor to “Fuck Her Gently” or they’ve simply tried to emulate themselves with shamefully recycled ideas (STEEL PANTHER much?).
The random references to Elon Musk and Richard Branson during “Take Us Into Space” push for a little bit of fourth-wall breaking but as a track it’s typical as it comes; it’s accompanying skit “I’ve Got To Go” no more than standard D shenanigans really. Finding further musical points of worth is difficult…”Daddy Ding Dong” opts for a more metal inspired piece, Jack Black does love a hard rocking riff but it’s nothing shy of ridiculous. There’s sketches about sex with cave women, a random, pro-KKK piece featuring an anti-gay march, there’s a clichéd German character, all tied in to some Donald Trump references…I mean what the ACTUAL fuck? ”JB JR Rap” has a deep, dark hip-hop synth beat and some auto tune which is probably the most interesting thing musically here which says A LOT, before we end up finishing rocking out on “Woman Time” and the reprise of the theme song. Ultimately, as an accompanying album, this really falls flat and feels more like a brief collection of sound bites AT BEST…if you’re going to invest any time in new Tenacious D material, stick to the animation on YouTube, as this really fails on record. As audio content, it not only feels rushed together, but it misses the mark entirely regarding humour…there’s nothing wrong with being crude and childish occasionally, but this is just cringe-worthy, I sadly believe the D in their name now simply stands for Done.