Last week, Tenacious D released their new album, “Post-Apocalypto”. The comedic rock duo of Jack Black and Kyle Gass have been known to infuse many of their previous albums with storytelling. Their debut album coincided with the band’s HBO special, and of course, there’s the “Pick of Destiny”, which we’ve already discussed. Their newest work is no exception to this trend, but comes with a nice twist.
“Post-Apocalypto” is an album, yes, but it’s also a six-part YouTube animated series written, directed, and voiced by Black and Gass. The series was used to promote their album. Each week, a new episode released, showcasing another new song.
To sufficiently process all of this, we’ll be running a mini-series of our own. Every episode is currently available to watch on YouTube, so we’ll take the opportunity to look at each on its own in a short breakdown article. At the end, we’ll do a full review of the album, to give some closure to our journey.
Chapter 1: Hope
The first episode of “Post-Apocalypto” opens with the story’s main theme, appropriiately titled, “Post-Apocalypto Theme”. The crude, hand drawn visuals by Jack Black show a bomb dropping on earth, and several images of Black and Gass adventuring in the monster-infested wasteland.
But every story needs a beginning, and Tenacious D show they aren’t afraid to retread old ground. We open in Gass and Black’s apartment, where they play a round of video golf. But when the landlord comes asking for rent, they quickly scramble for a way to make a quick buck.
They settle on a daredevil motorcycle jump over a pool of sharks. in television, “jumping the shark” refers to the moment when an established long-running series changes in a significant manner in an attempt to stay fresh. It’s a nice, meta nod to what they’re doing by shifting this album’s setting to a nuclear fallout.
After the aforementioned shark jump, the bomb drops, and the jokes keep coming. Black and Gass run for cover, and find it in an old, 1950’s fridge. When they emerge, the world as they know it has changed completely. After a moment of disbelief and despair, they soon find and adopt a two-headed dog. After naming the dog “Hope”, we get our first song from the album.
Tenacious D don’t pretend to reach for lofty themes or subtlety, but that was never their strength. Instead, they focus on the concrete details of the narrative. Due to this, “Hope” sounds more like it belongs in a rock opera.
The visuals that accompany “Hope” foreshadow what’s to come in the adventures ahead. Frames of Black and Gass holding hands, finding food, and running from monsters. Throughout it all, their dog “Hope” is there to save the day.
In parting, we’ll leave you with a few lines of “Hope”‘s lyrics.
“There shall be dragons and there shall be gorgons / There shall be many beasts with no name / Our trust doggy will be there to save the day / Hope will find a way”.