The Phoenix

Written by: PP on 04/12/2017 22:18:21

"The Phoenix" is the first CKY album in eight years, and their first one without original singer Deron Miller, who departed the band in 2011. Original guitarist Chad I Ginsburg has taken over the vocal duties and does a commendable job at emulating the muscular, grungy croons of Miller, perhaps pushing the band even further towards a 90s style post-grunge sound than ever before. Ginsburg has bluntly stated that we can just about ignore 2009's "Carver City" and its 2005 predecessor "An Answer Can Be Found", because apparently, "The Phoenix" is the real follow-up to their breakthrough album "Infiltrate*Destroy*Rebuild" from 2002.

So how does it measure up? Well, for starters, at just eight tracks and 30 minutes of playtime, it puts the band at a pace of about a song per year, or under four minutes of new material each year. The fuzz guitars and grooves remain, but in a slightly more alternative rock styled format. The majority of songs rely less on heavy, bass-driven soundscape rather than technical hard rock solos and grungy vocal melodies. "Unknown Enemy" will take you back to 2002 with its funky sound, but "Head For A Breakdown" in contrast is a surprisingly poppy song for CKY. Here, they channel traditional mainstream rock suitable for the American radio stations and myRock here at home, which means it's instantly catchy and enjoyable without much effort.

If it's the heavier stuff you're longing after, "Wiping Off The Dead" finally gives us some of that signature-style bass-driven groove, combined with grungy, 90s vibes all over. Granted, opener "Replaceable" features much of that as well with its guitar-driven format and smoky, 90s style choruses that aren't that far off from, say, Soundgarden or similar.

That said, the main comparison point is still bands like Alien Ant Farm, Sevendust, and perhaps the groove masters in Clutch throughout, which is a good thing. CKY might be at their softest and most mainstream on this album, but in the end "The Phoenix" is rather an enjoyable record. Nowhere near their classic material, though.


Download: Head For A Breakdown, Replaceable, The Other Ones
For the fans of: Clutch, Alien Ant Farm, Sevendust, Powerman 5000, Trapt
Listen: Facebook

Release date 16.06.2017
eOne Music

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