Tenacious D’s comeback album, “Rize of the Fenix,” out this week, isn’t a masterpiece, but there’s something undeniably appealing about Jack Black, left, singing faux-rock songs alongside Kyle Gass, right, again. It’s easy to forget, but when Tenacious D released its now classic eponymous debut in 2001, Black wasn’t yet a Hollywood superstar, and mixing comedy with music was still a novelty.
Of course, I might be biased. I was 13 when I first heard Tenacious D, and its songs about the devil, friendship and four-letter words spoke to the comedic sensibilities of my teenage self.
In high school, I formed an acoustic duo and we’d cover “Tribute,” Tenacious D’s most revered song. When I got to college, the first movie I reviewed for the student newspaper was the duo’s 2006 flop, “The Pick of Destiny.” Two years later, I started dating a girl who was an extra in that very film. ( Coincidence? Fate? We’re still together, and I’m still not sure.)
For me, “Rize of the Fenix,” which pokes fun at “Pick of Destiny’s” failure, and Black’s rise to stardom, feels like being reunited with an old friend. Neither of us is the same, but it’s fun to get together and relive the past.