For over 8 years now, CKY has fought tooth and nail to maintain their raw, truthful and honest selves both as individuals and a band. From the homegrown, riff-driven efforts of “Volume 1″, to the simplistic and hard hitting “Infiltrate.Destroy.Rebuild”, and now to the giant, riffing beast that is “An Ånswer Can Be Found”, CKY once again has done what only CKY can do, record an album that not only surpasses the others, but one that also yet again defies the naysayers and critics that would rather see CKY just go away because they bring too much originality to the table. Deron Miller, Chad Ginsburg, and Jess Margera are as unrestrained on this record as any before it; and they are in top form. This record is a completely different outing from the other two, and those without an open mind may have difficulty adapting in the new direction this album takes us, but there is much to be found in the 11 tracks on this album.
The first thing you notice when you pick up the album is the minimalistic artwork. To the average person, it may not look like much. But the angstrom symbol (Å) donning the cover stands for the “Ålliance” – the global network of fans who spend their own blood, sweat and tears supporting CKY in their own way. The fans that continue the demand for a change in music. This album is dedicated to these loyal fans, with whom the band stays connected with through the official website (which is also maintained by fans of the band) at ckyalliance.com. Even the title itself sparks something of a personal meaning to any individual that reads it, the feeling from it inspires hope and is self-empowering. Perhaps the “answer” is yourself, something within, or the way this band does what it does.
All the tracks were recorded and mixed by Chad Ginsburg, who wears many different hats in the role of the band. Ginsburg, who poured countless hours in the studio meticulously checking each track to ensure 100% CKY quality and perfection, brings about a level of respect that should be given to him and the band, even if you don’t like their music. It’s highly rare, if not impossible, to find anyone else doing this very thing in the music industry. There is no stooge checking in and asking to remove this solo, that track, change these words, use this artwork. None of that. Ginsburg oversees all aspects of recording, and the result is a more true offering that is untouched by the label, as how it has been with everything they have ever done and will continue to do.
But just what is CKY? What do they sound like? That is one of the hardest questions to answer about the band, because they don’t sound like anything else out there. Ask any fan of the band and they’ll all tell you “just listen to them!”. They can go from fast, chugging riffs (Sporadic Movement, My Promiscuous Daughter, Sniped) to slow and mellow tracks (Close Yet Far, Behind the Screams, Don’t Hold Your Breath) at a moments notice. Deron Miller, the brainchild of CKYs monstrous, catchy riffs has really come into his own with the work on “An Ånswer Can Be Found”, evolving and refining himself over time since the days of “Volume 1″. The most noticeable change from the last album to this album is that there are no synth keyboards at all, and that there are guitar solos. Ginsburg handled all the solos on the record. With influences ranging from Joe Satriani, and Yngwie Malmsteen, he proves that great rock and roll solos and the art of shredding has not been lost in today’s nu-metal world.
At the meat of this review, the music, clocks in at just about 40 mintues total. The band likes to keep their albums between 30-45 minutes, because they believe thats the “perfect” length for an album. Not too short, and not too long. Straight and to the point. “Suddenly Tragic” opens up the album, ripping right into your ears with hard and heavy guitars. Margera lays down the beat with an old school feel, complimenting the melodic guitar lines of Miller and Ginsburg. Within the lyrics lie some of Millers simple yet true to life messages of “use the height of confidence, to break the common ground; beyond a bad experience, an answer can be found.” “The Way You Lived” brings back a certain vibe and surrealness of the fan favorite “To All Of You” from Volume 1. The fuzzdriven guitars take you on a slow melodic run all throughout this song, which contains a haunting chorus and catchy riff which almost feels like a short soundtrack to a dream. “Familiar Realm” the first single from this album is reminiscent of “Flesh Into Gear” from Infiltrate.Destroy.Rebuild. You can really hear the progression in Millers vocal abilities in this track, most noticeably on the chorus and the outro where there are variations on the vocals. “All Power To Slaves” is a hard hitting track that once again puts Millers vocals and the combined efforts of Miller/Ginsburgs guitar/engineer work on display. The line screamed by Miller “All power to SLAAAAAAAVES” will stick with you.
A little over halfway through the album at track 7, it breaks off into an interlude, aptly titled “Behind the Screams”. This short minute and a half acoustic track provides the perfect breather point as well as serve up some sweet acoustic stylings with a classical flair. This proves that there really is more to Deron Miller, and hopefully we can see more songs like this in the future. However the song feels too short, and perhaps could have been a little longer. “Deceit is Striking Gold” is perhaps the bands most “different” track from everything they’ve ever done. Margera really keeps things flowing on this track with the drums, probably his best recording on the album, even though he has really stepped it up in this album overall. “As The Tables Turn” provides more great Miller riffs with an ending containing one of the most catchy and epic guitar lines heard since possiby “Disengage the Simulator”. Very memorable and very melodic, as is the closing track “Don’t Hold Your Breath”. This song is so beautiful that you almost wouldn’t believe that this is CKY, complete with intertwining acoustic and electric guitars under Miller’s smooth vocals.
The production quality is top notch, the guitar playing is spot on, and the sequencing is tight. The move from “Infiltrate.Destroy.Rebuild” to “An Answer Can Be Found” is a big one, and you owe it to yourself and the band to check it out. This album has originality flowing from every pore; truth and honesty from the lyrics, and a take no prisoners attitude, it’s just “CKY” being who they are.