CKY holds a special place in my heart. Like many an early ’00’s band, CKY was introduced to me during the beginnings my record store retail dayz. I’d hear certain albums incessantly and either have them forever seep into my musical consciousness (Like At The Drive-In and Cave In) or have them cause the involuntary act of throwing up in my mouth (So much so that I can’t be brought to mention those bands here). CKY was, luckily, in the former category.
And beyond that, I still fondly remember my manager would get annoyed when a fellow employee played Volume 1 and a song like “My Promiscuous Daughter” and lyrics like “I caught my daughter giving head to my brother” would play over and over again (This is back in the day when playing Seasons in the Abyss on a Sunday morning in the store after church got out was totally fine). I even vividly remember when another manager actually kicked CKY mainman Chad Ginsburg out of the store while calmly trying to diffuse the situation by saying “Don’t be a jackass!” on his way out which only managed to aggravate it (To be fair, I’m pretty sure said manager had no idea why that phrase would annoy Ginsburg).
But that was then and this is now. And now we’re talking about an older, wiser CKY. Ginsburg has now taken over front man duties and the band is a three piece, completed by drummer Jess Margera and former All That Remains bassist Matt Deis.
An entirely different yet still familiar CKY, The Phoenix is truly a rebirth. Those familiar guitar tones and back beat are instantly recognizable during opener “Replacable” (Perhaps about departed OG vocalist Deron Miller???) and then Ginsburg’s pipes shine through and it’s like listeners are hearing CKY for the first time all over again. First single “Days of Self Destruction” is a definitive CKY jam keeping that familiar sonic aesthetic ever present while “Unknown Enemy” is downright haunting at times.
“Wiping Off The Dead” is an exercise in aural amazingness as those fuzzed out riffs prove the perfect dichotomy to Margera’s stop/start percussive attacks leading into “Lies From You” which just bashes you over the head with heavy riffage until closer “Better Than Get Even” doubles down on the riffing and the signature CKY sounds leaving listeners thoroughly satiated.
The Phoenix is definitely the album CKY fans have been yearning for. Filled with all the fun of previous records yet full of a maturity and heart not yet explored. The new album is out through eOne Music on June 16th. Pre-order your very own copy right here and here.