"Carver City" (Roadrunner; 2009)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

Let me update you on a band that last got Rough Edge exposure in 2002 (back when the famous Bolton family brick wall was the background image here). My, how times have changed. CKY is still alternative metal and even though there is some experimental stuff contained within they've still got a great sound.

Jess Margera is the drummer and the older brother of Bam Margera who found MTV fame when their Jackass daredevils were all the rage. The disc is named after a bad luck town that has plenty of history behind it; each song is about something that happened there. The CD cover should give you an idea of some events that took place.

The music is strong and each song has a funky groove to it. I've never heard any CKY until now but I like what I've absorbed so far. The Moog synth gives it a weird texture. Deron Miller sings most of the tracks; he's got some screams in him, too. The guitar sounds a lot like Steve Vai to me -- it's got that groove vibe to it with solos that come out of nowhere and leave no vapor once they've gone.

If you've never heard anything by CKY then I recommend this disc to get you started. It's been awhile since they've done anything mainstream (2005 was their last venture into music) but they have come back with a strong offering.

CKY: Deron Miller vocals, guitars, bass, Moog synthesizers, orchestration; Chad I. Ginsburg guitars, bass, Moog synthesizers, vocals, orchestration, production, mixing; Matt Deis bass, Moog synthesizers; Jess Margera drums.

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"An Answer Can Be Found" (Island/Def Jam; 2005)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

In my review of CKY's "Carver City," I said: "It's been awhile since they've done anything mainstream (2005 was their last venture into music)." "An Answer Can Be Found" was the CD I was referring to.

CKY (also known as Camp Kill Yourself) blew me away with "Carver City" because I'd never heard the band before. But this is a Moog Synthesizers soundtrack. A down-tuned brooding guitar with solos, melodic vocals and a Moog Synth that lays down a creepy layer of music makes "An Answer Can Be Found" a great find among all the music I have at my disposal. The guitar solos are ripping and you would think Steve Vai or Joe Satriani Satch or even John Petrucci had stepped up to the pedal board for a moment, but Chad I. Ginsburg impressed the heck out of me when he plugged in. Even when he pulls out the acoustic he's got skills.

There are a few surprises on this disc. Songs 7-9 are very unique in the way they are played; as soon as a song gets going it stops and feeds into a completely different track. I had to check to see if my disc skipped on accident. It didn't -- they planned it that way.

I recommend starting with this disc and climbing your way in either direction to experience the music of CKY.

CKY: Deron Miller lead vocals, guitars, bass; Chad I. Ginsburg guitars, vocals, bass, production, mixing; Jess Margera drums.

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"Infiltrate - Destroy - Rebuild" (Island; 2002)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Getting their jumpstart by providing the music for MTV's "Jackass," CKY's third CD, "Infiltrate - Destroy - Rebuild," is a continuation of the genre-bending, genre-blending sound.

It'd be a mistake to try and classify "Infiltrate" as one type of music although, if you had to, stoner rock would probably come closest. That would be selling the band short, however, as "Infiltrate" runs the gamut from stoner to near-goth to power ballad to (believe it or not) the guitar-based new wave syncopation of bands like Devo. It's hard, edgy rock that's unique and fresh. Some fans have complained that the band has strayed from its earlier, punkier, roots but this sound works, too.

This is one of those CDs that doesn't have a single weak track. Even the ballad-like "Close Yet Far" is stronger than most of its type. My favorites would be the first track, "Escape from Hellview," the popular and oft-played "Flesh Into Gear" (from the "Jackass: The Movie" soundtrack), the very stoner "Attached at the HIp" and the funky, dance-y "Plastic Plan."

CKY likes to call themselves the new revolution of rock'n'roll. While I wouldn't go that far, at least their reaching forward and, so far, are doing so successfully.

CKY: Deron Miller - lead vocals, guitars, bass, Moogs; Jess Margera - drums; Chad I. Ginsburg - guitars, vocals, Moogs, bass; Vern Zarborowski - live bass.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 2010 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 31 Aug 2018 10:36:33 -0400 .