Tag Archive: alternative

Piratically Incorrect

Rating: ★★★★☆
www.musicalblades.com
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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…)

Review: Captain Darby O’Bill and His Maties 3

Rating: ★★★★☆
Captain Darby O’Bill and His Maties 3
www.captaindarbyobill.com

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Genre: Original pirate songs of varying non-traditional styles.
Rating: PG-13
Target Audience: Late teens to early retirement

Captain Darby O’Bill and His Matees 3, an album performed by a group of the same name (I mean, what are the odds?) is exactly the kind of pirate music I love best – meaning that it in no way sounds like any of the other pirate music I already love. Right from the first track, The Skulls of Skeleton Peak, and on through the entire album, this CD defies categorization of any kind save one – this is PIRATE MUSIC! (more…)

Review: Sovereignty

Rating: ★★★☆☆
The Ben Gunn Society
www.bengunnsociety.com

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Genre: Artsy, coffee-house songs of a piratey nature
Rating: PG
Target Audience: Teens ta Twenties

Having achieved such a creative marvel with their first album, The Ben Gunn Society, it’s difficult to imagine what the band of the same name would follow up with. After all, the entire album was indeed about Ben Gunn – that cheese-hankerin’ castaway from Treasure Island. So to make a second album that had nothing to do with the old man whatsoever… well, it’s difficult to fathom. (more…)

Review: The Last Voyage of the Black Betty

Rating: ★★★★½
Rustmonster
www.gangreneproductions.com

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Genre: Jazzy, beatnick lounge songs. About pirates.
Rating: PG-13
Target Audience: Late teens to early retirement

It may surprise you to learn, I listen to a LOT of pirate music (far more than I’ve yet reviewed, shamefully.) As such, I’m rarely truly surprised. Impressed, certainly – it’s always a treat to hear a new origninal song, or an exciting new presentation of an old song. And it’s always thrilling to learn of a new pirate-rock or pirate-shantey group picking up the torch and lending their talents to create truly original material. BUT, sometimes it feels like I’ve heard it all. (more…)

Review: Songs of Modern Piracy

Rating: ★★★☆☆
Pirates R Us
www.pirates-r-us.com

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Genre: Alternative pirate carnival punk
Rating: PG
Target Audience: Just about anybody

Some albums are meant of listening, others are meant to be dissected, considered, and analyzed. But Pirates R Us’ CD, Songs of Modern Piracy, is meant for neither – it’s to be loved. True, we could discuss the lyrics – by and large these six songs are about piracy (historical), piracy (illegal filesharing), piracy (breakfast cereal icons), and Kevin Bacon. The words are generally catchy and humorous – Ballad of Captain Crunch is particularly amusing. But every time I try to listen to the lyrics, I keep getting caught up in the music of this album. The vocals and instruments all blend together into a wonderfully whimsical mix of guitars, accordians, tubas and trombones (and something called an erhu, according to the album liner.) The net result is a swaggering russiany carnival of strangely pirate songs that are an absolute joy to listen to. One of my favorite non-traditional pirate albums of all time.

Review: Pirates of Scamalot

Rating: ★★★☆☆
Hucklescary Finn
www.kevinhendrickson.com

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Genre: Non-traditional. True pirate alternative.
Rating: PG
Target Audience: Ages 15 and up

It never ceases to amaze me that one man – Kevin Hendrickson – can simultaneously be behind three pirate-themed bands yet still keep each one distinctive in both content and tone. Captain Bogg & Salty is highly polished, kid-friendly, sometimes silly, and fun throughout. Pirate Jenny is the rock/punk side of things – also silly at times, but relatively grown up, and somewhat raw (in temperament, not quality.) Hucklescary Finn, on the other hand, seems deeply introspective, and musically speaking is certainly the most experimental of the three. (more…)

Review: The Ben Gunn Society

Rating: ★★★½☆
The Ben Gunn Society
www.bengunnsociety.com

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Genre: Contemporary, pirate-themed original. Pirate Alternative.
Rating: G
Target Audience: All Ages

How do you fairly critique something that, at its core, you can’t help but love? The Ben Gunn Society’s self-titled album isn’t as polished as some of its pop-rock-pirate brethren, and its quirky lyrics sung with a russian accent may not appeal to some the more anal members of our fine pirate community. But let’s be honest – this is a brilliantly creative, absolutely delightful album that keeps me smiling from ear to ear each time I hear it. (more…)

Review: Illegitimus Non Carborundum

Rating: ★★★☆☆
Zakas
www.mccrecords.com

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Genre: Original pirate rock and experimental.
Rating: PG
Target Audience: Ages 15 and up

I imagine that, upon meeting an alien life form for the first time, one would at once feel awed, confused, terrified, and overwhelmed. The experience would be both beautiful and frightening, fascinating yet hopelessly beyond our comprehension. Why am I saying this? No reason. Illegitimus Non Carborundum is a fun, bizarre, perplexing, and incredibly diverse CD. To quote Will Turner form Pirates of the Caribbean, “This is either madness or genius.” (more…)

Review: Once Upon a Wave

Rating: ★★★★☆
Pirate Jenny
www.kevinhendrickson.com/kh/pirate-jenny/pirate-jenny.html

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Genre: Contemporary pirate rock and alternative.
Rating: PG
Target Audience: Ages 15 and up

I heard Never Sea Land first. It’s how I was introduced to Pirate Jenny, and how I fell in love with them. So by default, Never Sea Land is my favorite. Were it not for that edge, I might argue that Once Upon a Wave is the slightly better album. Or I might not – I’m really indecisive on this one. In Never Sea Land I was briefly introduced to the character Captain Slaymore. In Once Upon a Wave he returns along with Scabby the seaman. This was when it becomes apparent there is actually a story at works. Scamalot, pirate paradise, is in a state of transition. Its walls are in peril and a new king must rise. Of course, it’s not as straightforward as that, but its close enough. (more…)

Review: Never Sea Land

Rating: ★★★★☆
Pirate Jenny: Never Sea Land
http://www.kevinhendrickson.com/kh/pirate-jenny/pirate-jenny.html

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Genre: Contemporary pirate rock and alternative.
Rating: PG-13
Target Audience: Ages 15 and up

What can I say about this album? It’s unfair of me to review it, I’m too biased.

I don’t know about you, but I grew up with sea shanties. Schooner Fare and its ilk were what I listened to as a teenager (which is probably why I didn’t get invited to the cool parties.) But in time I needed something different. Enter Pirate Jenny. (more…)