Following the departure of original member and frontman Deron Miller, CKY returns with a refreshed lineup of Chad I Ginsburg, Jess Margera and Matt Deis for their 5th full-length album release The Phoenix. With Chad I Ginsburg taking over the vacant role of lead vocalist, CKY seems determined to make up for lost time (it’s been six years since their previous release Carver City). Although the band are looking back even further and are drawing the bulk of their inspiration for this new release from their critically acclaimed 2002 release Infiltrate•Destroy•Rebuild and have said themselves that they see The Phoenix as it’s spiritual successor.
CKY have always been a band that have been difficult to pigeonhole to one or two genres and the music they have produced on The Phoenix is no different. Despite only consisting of eight tracks and clocking in at just under 31 minutes, the album offers plenty of variety and each track is very much given its own identity. Beginning with the second single off the album, ‘Replacable’ is quite a classic sounding heavy rock track with a strong riff and catchy chorus and certainly announces that CKY are back and they mean business. This then leads into ‘Days Of Self Destruction’ which is a more complex track in its sound and only emphasises the point that the listener is going to be kept guessing as the album progresses.
Building on the many different sounds on The Phoenix ‘Head For A Breakdown’ opens with an acoustic intro before building into a slower paced track with a melodic chorus and guitar solo. At this stage, it seems fair to give a mention to Chad I Ginsburg who does a fine job of stepping into the lead vocal shoes and his voice compliments well all of the musical styles present on the album. All of the band are in fine form on this release though and they have certainly put in 100% to produce an album that in their own words “we didn’t ‘have to’ make, we wanted to.”
To summarise, The Phoenix is a very strong release from CKY and I hope that fans of the band agree that the six-year wait for new material has definitely been worth it. For anyone not already familiar with CKY, it’s not an understatement to say that genres as diverse as rock, hard rock, metal, grunge and even hints of industrial can be found on this album and so there really is something for all rock/metal fans to appreciate. Whether The Phoenix marks a more permanent return for the band or not, if nothing else CKY has proved that they are very much still alive and kicking.