Alestorm’s Captain Morgan’s Revenge every bit appears the standard pirate metal album – the front cover features a skeletal demonic pirate screaming into the eye of a storm, while the back is emblazoned with an original jolly roger over a compass rose and crossed pistols. The packaging is definitely piratey. But as we know, the very nature of metal sometimes make for an album whose cover is the only thing that’s clearly piratey. All too often the typical thrasher growls and yells of “yarrr wahhhh grrrramoad!” could just as easily be “singing” of devil pigs as they might of pirates. This is the crux of pirate metal – but not so with Alestorm. (more…)
Where to begin when describing the wonderful oddity that is Captain Dan and the Scurvy Crew? By all common sense, such an apparent novelty act should long ago have gone the way of the dodo. But the crew hit the ground with surprising momentum – their first pirate gangsta rap album, Authentic Pirate Hip Hop was a shameless joy to the ears. It seemed an impossible act to follow, and yet, a mere year later, follow it they did with Rimes of the Hip Hop Mariner. But rather than treating us to “more of the same” The Scurvy Crew expanded and developed their hip-hop pirate concept to make for an even better end product. And now, just one year since Rimes, the Scurvy Crew has struck again with their third album, From the Seas to the Streets. (more…)
Genre: Ethereal, ambience, spook.
Rating: G (not meaning it’s for kids, though)
Target Audience: Anyone looking for a taste of atmospheric pirate creepiness
It’s been tried before – wholly instrumental albums of ethereal background music intended to capture images of swashbuckling and high-seas daring-do. The problem, all too often, is that if it weren’t for the album cover featuring a ship, jolly roger, or skeletal pirate, you’d be hard pressed to listen to the music and know it was piracy that inspired the artist, and not dragons, cave-dwelling amazons, or any number of other fantastical entities. (more…)
Genre: Pirate Jazz, funk, disco, etc.
Target Audience: Anyone with a sense of humor and a taste for the odd
With their second album, The Flight of the Filthy Vicar, Rustmonster continues its unique mix of jazz, funk, and experimental to explore pirate matters in a manner which no healthy mind could ever conceive. No fewer than 20 artists lend their creative talents to impress, entertain, and at times befuddle. There is, after all, nothing in this world quite like manly ‘heave ho’s shouted in time with a saxophone, and it’s thus this album begins with its first track, Blood and Bone. It’s a formula that led to astoundingly fun results with their first album, The Last Voyage of the Black Betty, and it works equally well this second time around. (more…)
Genre: Children (and adult) Pirate Rock and Alternative
Target Audience: Kids will definitely love it, but adults will also find some good stuff
Since the very beginning, Captain Bogg & Salty has always walked a fine line. On the face of it they’re children’s entertainers, and therefore sing silly songs of a kid-friendly nature. But the genius of their first album, Bedtime Stories for Pirates, was that – rather than sounding like preschool teachers like so many other childrens’ “pirate” entertainers – Bogg & Salty lent the impression of being real pirates; actual buccaneers, albeit good-natured ones, doing their level best to “keep it clean” for the duration of the album. This made Bogg & Salty a rare beast, being a pirate band that could be enjoyed by kids and their parents (and even angsty teens and 20-somethings) alike. (more…)
Genre: Contemporary Pirate Folk.
Target Audience: Pirate music fans, particularly those who would enjoy traditional shanties with some extra “teeth”
Drink & the Devil, by There Be Pirates, is an album that begins absolutely perfectly. Storm-brewed winds are met with a steadily growing drum beat, and then a shanty-styled introductory male voice begins the opening lyrics to High Barbary. But then the song quickly launches into a charged mix of energized instrumentals and vocals. This is still High Barbary as you know it, but reenvisioned in such a way as to remain true to its roots, but fresh and virile. (more…)
– Volume 3
– Volume 4
Genre: Various. Ranges from traditional to metal to lounge. Seriously.
Target Audience: This is perhaps the most universal collection of pirate music ever. If you love any aspect of the genre, these albums are for you.
It’s been roughly one year since PPNOM (that’s Pirates for the Preservation of New Orleans Music) released their intital Lafitte’s Return Albums Volumes 1 and 2. They were really the first of their kind – true compilations of pirate and maritime music from about as diverse a range of styles and artists imagineable. From traditional to PirateCore, pirate-dedicated artists to those taking a first stab at a pirate song, it really had much to offer just about anyone with an interest in the pirate music genres. (more…)
It’s rare to come across an album that is true, undiluted PirateCore from beginning to end, but Set Sail For Sodomy is one such gem. The debut album of Brine&Bastards, it features that perfect mix of rock and punk with sea songs and tales of debauchery. (more…)
Genre: Contemporary Pirate Folk and Alternative.
Rating: PG-13 (with a little bit of R)
Target Audience: 20-somthings and up
I had a conversation a while back with Patch, lead singer and principle songwriter of the Musical Blades. On asking him what other pirate bands he enjoyed, he expressed to my utmost surprise that he doesn’t listen to other pirate bands – not even a little bit. He does this so that his own writing will remain truly “his own”, wishing to follow his own instincts as to what pirate music can be rather than risk following the leads of others. While I myself could never fathom removing myself from the wealth of pirate music splendour that exists these days, I would offer the observation that Patch’s own abstinence seems to have served him, and the Musical Blades as a whole, rather well. (more…)
Yes, it does occasionally happen that I fully, shamelessly gush my love of a pirate album. So if that doesn’t suit you, then just save yourself the trouble and skip past this review – you don’t need to read it, but you *do* need to buy Roy Metté’s Pirates of the East Coast of the Americas & the Caribbean Sea. (more…)