On The Phoenix, their first release of any sort in about six years, CKY takes what originally made them great and perfects it. With The Phoenix, CKY has turned garage rock into something that seems like it’s made for arena stages.
The album opens with the swagger of “Replaceable,” before taking everything down a notch confidence-wise with the second track, on which CKY’s front man Chad Ginsburg sings: “Welcome to the days of self destruction.” A number of tracks on the album, “Days of Self Destruction” included, fade out in a manner that immediately evokes memories of rock from what’s approaching two decades ago.
Even still, that’s not to say that CKY’s music on The Phoenix is outdated. Rather, they’ve taken what so many people are almost default fans of and turned it into a highly listenable record. Ginsburg’s voice is as on top of its game as ever, and the production employs just the right touch of electronic beats to complement the album’s wonderfully heavy guitar playing.
About halfway through the album, on the track “Head For a Breakdown,” the music slows down somewhat, with simple and yet compelling lyrics painting a picture of initially small seeming everyday issues ballooning into something more.
Lyrics-wise, the whole album employs images that could be, at first listen, equally applied to failing interpersonal relationships and to failing senses of personal mental stability, independent of anyone else. It’s the kind of simple yet compelling lyrical content that perfectly complements the musical arrangement of The Phoenix.
At a number of points on the record, CKY breaks into lengthy guitar solos, and these serve well to underscore the feeling of the record as a crystallization of heavy, genre-ignoring feels-rock that first found its genesis some years ago.
CKY has been around for some time, with their first releases coming out in the late 1990s/ early 2000s. Since then, the band has managed to stay true to their original direction while also remaining fresh and relevant.