CKY – The Phoenix (Longbranch / SPV)
Genre – Nu metal
With almost a million albums sold over the duration of their career, CKY have built a reputation as a hard charging live act and they have been sorely missed over the last eight years.
The Phoenix sees CKY finally release the follow up to 2009’s Carver City, and it has assured that 2017 is going to be one hell of a year for the three piece, with Guns ‘N’ Roses, Metallica and Deftones all provisionally inviting them on tour.
Opening with Replaceable, the Jackass famed three piece waste no time getting started with their hard hitting, electronic infused metal sounds that intertwine effortlessly with Chad I Ginsburg’s lead guitar, setting the tone for a fast paced, energetic comeback album.
These trademark CKY sounds are the staple of nu-metal, with scratching decks, big, repetitive choruses and solos galore prevalent in tracks like Days Of Self Destruction, The Other Ones and Lies From You.
Vocally, Ginsburg is as raspy as ever, with deep, dark metal sounds protruding from his lungs, while Jess Margera controls the tempo with steady, controlled drumming that is as tight as ever with Matt Deis’ bass / synth.
CKY have established themselves as a powerhouse within nu-metal, and they remain hell bent on that path throughout The Phoenix, without ever pushing themselves at any stage. There is none of the youthful energy that made them such an appealing act almost 20 years ago. This is instead replaced with honesty and polished production.
Upon release, Ginsburg possibly warned of this feel when he said: “We’re grown adults now with an eagle-eye perspective on who we are, what we do, and how to do it right. None of us are out there in the clouds. We’re pretty well-grounded people that have an honest perspective on where we’re at.”
Ginsburg’s statement sums up CKY pretty well. They are adults. They know who they are and what they’re doing, and this record rings of a band in that position. The Phoenix is very good, very polished and very CKY, but the energy of youth is gone. Unfortunately for CKY, youth is one thing that they can’t get back, and in order to progress they need to really challenge themselves to progress their sound and bring back the excitement of their noughties heyday.
On a positive note, CKY are making music again. Fans won’t be disappointed in this release as their signature sound remains at the core of The Phoenix. The potential is endless with this band, and if they can stay together long enough, their next record could really push them forward.
RUSHONROCK RATED 7.5/10 A grown up release from well-grounded people.