October 18, 2001

Sex, Satan, and, um, Music

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Just when you thought the world had had its fill of satanic folk rock bands, Jack Black and Kyle Gass emerge from the depths of Hell (or maybe it’s just Los Angeles) with one of the funniest and hardest rocking albums in a long while. Tenacious D have released their debut after years of small gigs and a very short-lived HBO series, and coincidentally at the same time that lead singer Black is becoming a recognizable face in recent films such as High Fidelity.

So what is the D all about? It’s a tough call. On one level they are very competent musicians, attracting respected figures like the Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl and famed producers The Dust Brothers to pitch in and add some professional gloss to an otherwise jokey record. There are several tracks that truly do “rock the fuckin’ house and kick ass,” as Black declares at one point. Songs like “Wonderboy” and “Tribute” might even find their way onto commercial radio.

On another level, the record is a calculated, scathing parody of rock pretension throughout history, from take-offs on thematic clich