cKy – The Phoenix
Released: June 16th, 2017
Chad I Ginsburg // Vocals/Guitar/Synths
Jess Margera // Drums
Matt Deis // Bass/Synths/Backing Vocals
A long long time ago, when you thought you were a kick arse skater boi, sporting Element skate gear and a busted mp3 player, you probably had cKy blasting as you tried to pop a kickie before pushing your best mate into a hedge for ‘fun’. Well those years have passed and the band that cKy used to be, is no longer. Having undergone a makeover over the years they reemerged this year with a new sound, new line up and a new reason to start listening to them again.
Its my pleasure to introduce you to the next instalment of the once famous groove, post-grudge rockers, made famous by a bunch of young adults pushing each other in shopping carts into trees, gutters and each other. Kicking off the new album is the appropriately titled ‘Replaceable‘ which immediately draws you in with it’s raw and distorted guitar and bass, muffled to an extent it’s almost unclear but blasts your eardrums once the sound of the mythical phoenix is heard and the rebirth begins. It’s fun, catchy and upbeat enough to get you to sing along with it’s chorus. The perfect opening song at live shows for the band moving forward from now on it has all the makings of a new favourite song including hand claps, guitar solos and a grooovy as fuck bass line. For those worried the band won’t pay respects to their earlier work, that all goes out the window with the opening bars of ‘Days of Self Destruction‘ which immediately feels as if it’s a leftover song from 2002‘s Infiltrate•Destroy•Rebuild and transports you back to the early 2000‘s with plenty of synth, distorted vocals and sultry vocals akin to those of Ville Valo of HIM (good friends with cKy from way back when). If you like your guitar solos long and and riff heavy songs, then this one is for you.
‘Unknown Enemy‘ is up next and immediately it borderlines on an old country and western styled rock song with the vibe behind it, this is your typical cKy attitude of releasing music that differs from the last song hears so you can’t categorise them, however this one unfortunately feels out of place and doesn’t grab your attention quite like the opening two tracks. ‘Head For a Breakdown‘ brings out the acoustic guitars for a lead in that continues with the slight country rock vibe we heard previously. Think of Muse around their The Resistance phase in 2009 crossed with Queens of the Stone Age and you’d be pretty close to describing what this song sounds like to the untrained ear. It eventually blasts open with classic rock inspired solos and a the perfect amount of grunt to get you going in more of a moderately fast sway than a mosh. If you wanna rock the fuck out but you’re still hungover as all fuck from last night, chuck this one on and get the best of both worlds.
What’s this? We’re at the halfway point already! Well shit, so far the songs have been above expectations and the only issue I have thus far has been the length of them, but apart from that we head straight into ‘The Other Ones‘ with it’s quirky guitars and simplistic lyrics, the real stand out sound in my ears are the “bow-wows” coming from Chad Ginsburg‘s guitar. It’s a pure old school rock ‘n roll journey fulfilled by the accompanying synth sounds scattered throughout. ‘Wiping Off The Dead‘ sounds so much bigger than what it really is, if you heard this in a stadium it would have the potential to induce orgasms upon everyone who came into contact with it. Right now I don’t know whether I want to “white person dance” or make love the closest thing around me (look out HP OfficeJet printer). This is the standout song. This is the new cKy at their absolute best. The boys bring the faster pace back with ‘Lies From You‘ and I could have sworn I heard HIM’s Ville Valo’s haunting vocals in the opening lines and chorus. The similarities are uncanny and considering I’m a fan of both bands, it’s welcoming but the stand out musician in this one has to be Matt Deis and his bass guitar. The song slowly fades out and we find ourselves at the climax of The Phoenix taking in ‘Better Than Get Even‘. Don’t let weird song title throw you, the more and more you listen to it, the more you get hooked on the funky riff action, trancy synth samples and slow jam halfway through which will please all of your senses especially if listened to whilst under the influence of something (not encouraging you with that comment by the way) but lets just say medicinal marijuana patients now have a song that’ll help them forget about their worries for a short period of time. Its the perfect combination of groove rock and hard vibes needed round up the new direction of the band.
Wow, who knew that after all these years cKy could still release music that appeals to not only their long time fanbases, but bring in a new class of fans who are yet to experience the full enjoyment this band can bring. The boys may have been thrown into the limelight years ago thanks to drummer Jess Margera‘s brother Bam and his tribe of hooligans (see cKy/Jackass/Viva La Bam) but the band has managed to prove they’ve got more to offer than just a soundtrack to idiots jumping off buildings and riding kiddy bikes into frozen rivers. Big ups to the lads, cKy are back, baby.
cKy – The Phoenix tracklisting
1 – Replaceable
2 – Days of Self Destruction
3 – Unknown Enemy
4 – Head For A Breakdown
5 – The Other Ones
6 – Wiping Off The Dead
7 – Lies From You
8 – Better Than Get Even