Review: Authentic Pirate Hip Hop

Rating: ★★★★★
Captain Dan and the Scurvy Crew

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Genre: Pirate-themed gansta rap
Rating: R
Target Audience: Immature adults 😛

What happens when you mix rum and Crunk Juice…

I’m going to lay it right out – this review is going to begin with one relatively irrelevant criticism. It will then continue on to gush the praises of this album with shameless enthusiasm. And that’s just how it’s going to be. Continue reading

Review: Sunken Chest

Rating: ★★★★☆
Sunken Chest

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Genre: Guitar-rock pirate-core
Rating: PG-13
Target Audience: Late teens to early retirement

Few bands embody “pirate core” so pefectly as Sunken Chest. Their debut album features various tunes that seamlessly blend rock club instrumentals with period(ish) pirate lyrics. While not remotely historically accurate, the resulting music lends the impression that it is what historical pirates WOULD have listened to, given the opportunity. Continue reading

Review: Come Aboard

Rating: ★★★½☆
The Alaskan Pirate

Genre: Crusty pup shanty styled orignial compositions.
Rating: PG-13
Target Audience: Late teens to early retirement

With their album “Come Aboard,” The Alaskan Pirate and His Salty Seamen bring the listener a variety of traditional and original compositions, although most of us would be hard pressed to say which is which. Indeed, every track on this album, be it ancient or freshly written, sounds like it’s been sung by seagoing lads for generations. And what’s more, not one single track sounds even remotely “folkish.” These aren’t sea shanties as sung by an armchair sailor or children’s sing-a-long – not remotely. Rather, this is music as sung by the saltiest amongst us – those who’ve been to sea, had their fingers frozen to the oars and watched their mates get hauled below by tentacled creatures of the deep. The compositions are simple yet bold, the vocals crusty yet listenable. If Quint from the movie Jaws had a band, it would sound a lot like The Alaskan Pirate and His Salty Seamen. Continue reading

Review: Songs of Modern Piracy

Rating: ★★★☆☆
Pirates R Us

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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: Rustic Pirate Flag

Rating: ★★★☆☆
Nautical Antiques

Pirate flags today are available everywhere. Polyester flags abound for those on a budget, and nylon for those looking to weather a few storms. The variety is nearly endless – from tradiononal jolly rogers and historical emblems chosen by famous pirates to modern and original designs, there is certainly something for nearly every style and taste.

One market has been notably untapped, though. This would be the person looking for a flag with a more historical “feel” about it. A flag made from course weave cotton, much as the flags of Blackbeard and Calico Jack might have been done. A flag that will age in the sun and carry that true battle-worn, weather-beaten look that seperates the posers from the pirates. And at long last, someone has stepped up to the plate to bring us exactly that. Continue reading

Review: Dread Pirate – League of Pirates

Rating: ★★★½☆

By and large – and this isn’t necessarily a criticism – pirate tabletop games strive to emulate ship-to-ship combat, allowing players to travel between islands and blast cannons at each other. League of Pirates, however, takes a different approach.

Front Porch Classics has brought us some wonderful pirate games, with League of Pirates being from their new – more affordable – Discovery Edition line. In this game, two players face off to build their crews. Each has a board with openings representing crew vacancies, which they can fill with cardboard coins of quartermasters, mates, captains and the like. Continue reading

Review: Dread Pirate – Buccaneer’s Revenge

Rating: ★★½☆☆

Front Porch Classics has a reputation for tabletop games that are a) expensive as all hell and b) worth every penny. They bring an old world craftsmanship to their games that makes them virtual works of art, and playing them therefore seems to feel just a bit more authentic and worthwhile than it does when breaking out the more bourgeois Parker Bros variety. But alas, sometimes economy must outweigh art, and it’s in this vein that Front Porch Classics has introduced its Discovery Edition games. The quality of these sets remains high, but the metal and wood has largely been replaced with the more ordinary (and affordable) plastic and cardboard.

Dread Pirate: Buccaneer’s Revenge is the Discovery Edition’s direct answer to Old Century Dread Pirate (truly one of the most glorious pirate games on the market.) The play area and pieces are virtually identical in shape, if not material, with the only significant difference being the cards. In the Old Century version, the goal was to plunder towns and each other, and to end the game with the most booty – fairly straightforward. But Buccaneer’s Revenge has modified gameplay, sending players forth on a number of missions dictated by drawn cards. The ultimate goal is still to gather booty, and players can still bombard each other in combat, but the additional missions serve to add a bit more variety along the way. And what’s more, upon completing missions, players earn booty and skills that they can use in the future. Continue reading

Review: The Pirate Art Book

Rating: ★★★☆☆
The Pirate Art Book: 17 Years of Drawing Sea Rovers

Richard Becker has quite the history as a pirate artist. From designing shirts for Sea Wolf Clothing and covers for No Quarter Given, and right through his two comic book series “Bloodthirsty Pirate Tales” (a limited run over several years telling the historical story of Blackbeard) and “Pirate Tales” (his newer, ongoing series of historical pirates in general), it would seem he must have illustrated every conceivable pirate subject by now.

The Pirate Art Book: 17 Years of Drawing Sea Rovers, is a testemant to exactly this – nearly two decades of pirate art summed up into 64 pages of black and white illustrations. What’s inside should appeal to a wide variety of pirate enthusiast… Continue reading