The Pick of Destiny – Tenacious D

This is a weird album. It’s the soundtrack to a movie that I’ve only seen clips of. Just listen to the first song, “Kickapoo”, a theatrical overture featuring vocals from both Meat Loaf and Dio with Phrygian mode mixture and The Who-style riffing, and you’ll be hooked on this band. You’re going to have to get past “Classico”, but the incredible electric riffing on “Master Exploder” is worth it; this band calls themselves “acoustic metal”, but their acoustic guitars and drums are used together to create infectious and complex rhythms which work perfectly under the melodies Jack Black and Kyle Gass create. Tenacious D revels in absurdity, especially on the inexplicable “Papagenu (He’s My Sassafras)”, but awesomeness beyond that which makes sense is kind of a big part of metal, and “Break In-City (Storm the Gate!)” and “Car Chase City” go hard into that specific kind of madness. (Usually when I say madness, it’s a way of talking about creativity in music, but “Break In-City” includes the lyrics “I flip around the corner,/flat as a pancake/And then i- oh noo! A camera” and “Ninja style,/samurai (Storm the gates!)/Metal pole,/climb that shit (Storm the gates)/Climb into that mother-fucker/Now i’m climbin up,/up on the roof/I got cat-like reflexes”. Honestly, those aren’t really outliers on this album.) My personal favorite song on the album is “Beelzeboss”, a retelling of “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” in which the devil (Dave Grohl) plays a truly incredible bouncy 12/8 metal section and Tenacious D rallies the spirit with an emotional invocation to blow doors down. By the time you get to “POD”, you will have been thoroughly wowed, your head may have combusted, and you will have a strong desire to see a movie that isn’t available on most streaming services. I highly recommend it.

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