While working in retail hell, CKY’s Vol. 1 was like sonic comfort food. It was a genre-bending masterpiece from start to finish and whenever it’d pop up in ye olde 5-disc changer an instant shit eating grin would form on my 20-something face. Add the visuals of my manager scrambling to reach the stereo from wherever they were in time to skip “My Promiscuous Daughter” (IYKYK) before it blasted out to a full store and the kinds of joy that record brought (And still bring) are endless.
It’s been 23 years since that record has released and in that time CKY has become a shell of its’ former self with guitarist/vocalist Deron Miller moving on from the outfit in the mid-2010’s, venturing into different musical areas with the Death Metal vibes of World Under Blood and the Alternative heaviness of Foreign Objects to name a few. Eventually the adventure led to the here and now and to 96 Bitter Beings and to a sound that will sound very familiar to fans of OG CKY. Especially on sophomore record, Synergy Restored.
From its’ onset and with opener “Vaudeville’s Revenge” firmly planting the seeds, Synergy Restored is like the next in that series of records CKY established themselves with in the early aughts all rolled into one. And then some. But those expecting a record of Camp Kill Yourself clones or CKY v.2 will be pleasantly surprised with what’s to come. Like “Wish Me Dead” which is just so fucking good. It’s songs like this and the entirety of Synergy Restored actually that just embody the spirit of CKY, elevating it to a brand new place and landing in the earholes of a whole new audience in 2022. Miller’s distinct voice and guitar tones obviously are a driving force but it’s also Tim Luera’s slamming drum technique that’s prone to staccato attacks one moment while solidifying a huge groove the next. Then there’s Kenneth Hunter’s guitar work accenting and adding to Miller’s solid playing especially on the thrashy, shreddy masterpiece that is “Throw Yourself Inside” which manages to transcend Miller’s original outfit and, if we’re being all seer like, is a good indication of what the “96 Bitter Beings sound” is all about.
“90 Car Pile Up” is seemingly a straight stomper with Shaun Luera’s bass bouncing off the boom from behind the other Luera’s kit before heading into a moody Grunge/Alternative finisher flowing into the upbeat “Bedtime Story” which slays with its’ melodic overtones with Hunter and Miller’s swirling guitar lines circling each other on opposite sides of an aural cyclone. “Bloodrock Mania” is loud and luxurious, leaning into the melodic magic that’s inherent in each Deron Miller joint with “Slither Away” hitting pretty hard next as Miller’s soothing, hypnotic vox soften the blow ever so slightly.
“Taken By Surprise” is both ethereal and energetic as Luera brings out that aforementioned Groove in the percussion department for a song that shimmies, shakes, and shines. Looking for the loud? Well, “Adios Amigo’ has got you covered with precision riffage from Miller and Hunter leading the way on a track that’s righteously heavy from start to finish and sets up the final showdown with “Condition Or Unconditional” which doesn’t let up on the momentum with a solid four+ minutes of the Rawk to end the grand second coming from 96 Bitter Beings.
Synergy Restored arrives through Nuclear Blast on November 4th. Get yer pre-order and pre-save on now by heading here and for the latest from 96 Bitter Beings, follow them across the information superhighway when you click here, here, or here.