Review: A Knife to Remember

Rating: ★★★☆☆
The Musical Blades

Genre: A Capella Festival Songs
Rating: PG-13
Target Audience: Late teens to early retirement

In my humble opinion, traditional-style pirate bands have a unique chanllenge set before them. Being as much of their music is performed live on the festival circuit, they must cater to the live-action, beer-guzzling, turkey-leg-waving-to-the-music crowd. This is what I consider “renny” music – quasi-baudi, slightly goofy, and sometimes requiring audience participation. And this is all fine until this same band enters the recording studio, where much of this live performance just doesn’t translate well to the digital medium… Continue reading

Review: Swashbuckling Sea Songs

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆
Various Artists

Genre: Traditional and original pirate sea songs
Rating: G
Target Audience: Children

I don’t understand Disney. There are plenty of exceptional pirate bands out there, yet Disney seems oblivious. When Micky Mouse and gang decide to make a children’s album that feeds off the Pirates of the Caribbean success, rather than search for the experts in the matter, they go it alone. Sure, I know they do it so they can keep all the loot for themselves, and that would be fine if they made an album that in some way contributed to the genre. But they didn’t. Instead they made a half-hearted album of sissy pirate-esque songs that will be purchased by droves of impressionable children, who will then quickly decide that pirate music isn’t all that exciting, and never feel inspired to seek out those truly worthwhile pirate albums that don’t enjoy the sponsorship of Disney, or feature Jack Sparrow’s smiling mug on the cover. Continue reading

Review: “The Ring”

Rating: ★★★★☆
Ghost Pirate Ship

All too often, pirate-themed rings share one of three failings – they’re either too delicate looking, too biker, or too cliche (how many skull & crossbones rings can one pirate wear?)

Ghost Pirate has deftly foiled all these pitfalls with its sterling pirate ring. Featuring a large, robust skull, this ring is anything but dainty. And its eyepatch/bandana clearly mark this as a pirate accessory, while still dodging the “yet another jolly roger” trap. But more importantly, this is a ring with personality. The skull – with its partially open jaw, and equally open eye, nostrils, and temples – appears at once spectral yet material. Its highly 3-D structure is striking, yet clings closely to the finger enough to remain entirely comfortable.

This is an excellent pirate accessory. It’s sturdy, unique, and should fit right at home with any pirate outfit – be it period, fantasy, or modern.

Review: “Privateer” and “Ghost Pirate Ship” Pendants

Rating: ★★★☆☆
Ghost Pirate Ship

For any pirate looking to enhance their look with a piece of definitively nautical jewelry, Ghost Pirate Ship offers two tallship pendants that would be equally at home around the neck of buccaneer or law abiding merchant alike.

“Privateer” and “Ghost Pirate Ship” are both large sterling pendants, each over an inch and a half in height. Both are rugged, and feature a fixed loop on the back for affixing to a strap or chain. But aside from their definiteve similarities, each ship also boasts one striking difference.

“Privateer” is a squaremasted ship under full sail, complete with cannons along the bulkheads. It’s cast in sharp 3D relief, making it appear to be sailing directly out of your chest (but not in an “Alien” way.) “Ghost Pirate Ship” is nearly identical in concept and form, with the exception of its ragged sails, making it appear to hail straight from Davy Jones’ Locker itself. Ghost Ship also differs, less strikingly so, in that it features a small snippet of surf and waterline around the bottom of the hull (Privateer features no water.) Continue reading

Review: Crewed by the Damned

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Buy the CD
Genre: Heavy Metal and traditional
Rating: PG-13
Target Audience: Late teens to early retirement

Pirate metal isn’t a new thing – several bands, in fact, have tackled this concept before. But in many cases the only real way you know the music is piratey is by the album cover artwork, and maybe the names of the songs. This is because the untrained ear is unlikely to understand the growls and yells, let alone determine if the lyrics are composed of anything remotely relating to pirates. Continue reading