Reviews

CKY – The Phoenix – Review

7.5 out of 10

CKY this year are making their return after an 8-year hiatus. The band’s newest release has been highly anticipated since the confirmation that the band would press forward as a trio in May of last year. Since then the band have recorded their newest record The Phoenix and have headlined a highly successful UK tour, with nearly all dates being upgraded. This album is set to be a powerful release and a highly anticipated comeback. So without further ado let’s break down CKY’s new album The Phoenix. 

Opening up CKY’s fifth studio album is Replaceable. This track starts with this rock-centric riff that in the mix feels quite spaced out. Eventually, the track kicks into full swing, with the powerful and well-toned guitar mixing well with the bass and drums that drive the song. As this song continues it is clear to see that CKY haven’t lost their touch and with the groovy bass line that exists throughout the most of the track it is setting a great precedent for what is left to come on this come-back album. Overall Replaceable is a brilliant opener to this album, showcasing beautiful vocal moments from Chad Ginsburg and well-constructed instrumentation.

Following on from this album’s opener is a duo of tracks, the first of which is Days Of Self Destruction. This track is far grittier than the album’s opener, showcasing this powerful instrumentation that is fronted by this muddy riff that helps power the track along. As this song continues the vocals, similarly to the opener are interesting and well orchestrated. Days of Self Destruction then continues to power on through to this strong and well-designed solo that showcases Ginsburg’s playing ability in great fashion.

The second half of this duo is Unknown Enemy, which is not only the strongest cut off of this record but is also a catchy song, from the opening riff to the final few notes this song is a great listen. It has its own instinctive bop and is not only a well-constructed track but is also one that sticks in the mind all the way til the end of the album’s run time

Coming next on The Phoenix is a trio of songs. The first of which is Head For A Breakdown, a song which at first glance feels like it may be exploring a new dynamic with the acoustic guitar, however soon the rest of the band come in to create this fuller sound. This cut is in its simplest form a fun track but it is a lot more than that. As in this track, CKY explores a slightly different musical dynamic which allows for a well-orchestrated track. Head For A Breakdown is a close contender but just misses the mark, which made Unknown Enemy such a strong cut.

The second part of this trio is The Other Ones, a track which picks up the pace again and shows CKY yet again exploring more ideas, with the electronic additions this song the band are allowing for clear exploration with their music which is a nice touch. As this song continues, the band yet again showcase this groovy bass riff that powers the song along. The final part of this trio is Wiping Off The Dead which is heavier than most of what is on this album, even if that comes mainly from the slight excessiveness of the distortion rather than the actual composed riff. Wiping Off The Dead is the weakest cut off of this record due to the fact that there is far less about this track than it first appears.

As the album now starts to draw to a close, the final duo of tracks come into view. The first of which is Lies From You a track that sticks in the vocally, it is an interesting listen as it feels, despite the instrumentation being interesting and the song presenting a powerful and well-constructed riff, that the music takes a bit of a back seat so Ginsburg’s vocal abilities can take centre stage and show just how interesting and powerful his vocals can be.

The second part of this duo is the album’s closer Better Than Get Even. This track is a great closer albeit a little a the long side. However, as it goes this song does present not only some very well constructed riffs but also this groovy bass and drum lines that have existed throughout the majority of this album courtesy of Matt Deis and Jess Margera. 

Overall what CKY present here is a great album and is definetly not one to miss if you were either a fan before or even if you are new to the band. Across this album, there are stand out moments from each member of this band, whether it be in terms of vocals or instrumentation there is a lot to like on this album. However, that doesn’t mean there are downsides, as at times things do feel to run a little longer than they should but having said that the album’s biggest flaw is its length, and this is only because it leaves you wanting more [7.5/10]

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