The pioneers of „true Scottish pirate metal” are at it again with another longplayer.
This time they lifted the name and theme of the album, Curse of the Crystal Coconut, from the godawful Donkey Kong Country animated series, which aired in the late 90-ties (Kids, if you thought Superman’s CGI-removed moustache in Zack Snyder’s Justice League looked awful, you ain’t seen nothing yet, I tell ya’).
But thanks to some great music, absolutely catchy melodies and choruses, and some nerdy and wacky lyrics, the band once again deliveres a great Alestorm-album.
Starting it off with Treasure Chest Party Quest, you can immediately see, why they chose this song to be their first single. The first chorus is easy and catchy enough, that by the time the second one rolls around, you should already be able to sing along to it. That’s a thing that will happen to you again and again, while listening to this album.
Next one’s Fannybaws. Had to use the urban dictionary, because I was curious if my suspicion of what “Fanny baws” means was correct, and my filthy mind almost got the right meaning on it’s own. Another typical Alestorm-singalongsong, and with the “woah-oh”-shouts throughout, it’s almost certainly guaranteed to be on their setlists for a long time to come.
Third on the tracklist is Chomp Chomp. A song about alligators who like to “chomp” pirates. This one could almost be from Finntroll. Maybe that’s why they invited Mathias “Vreth” Lillmåns to sing the bridge.
Now comes Tortuga. The most “un-alestormy” Alestorm-song to date and the second single from this album. Back when the song and its musicvideo were released, the fandom was pretty much split in the middle. Some hated the electronic influences, others loved ‘em, because it made this weird little band even weirder.
I hated it when I first saw the video, but after I gave it a few listens in the context of the album, I started liking it. Although it probably will never be one of my favourites. Captain Yarrface delivers a rapverse for this song, which only purpose seems to be a little promotion of his own band Rumahoy.
Next off comes the song with the weirdest title, yet it’s one of the more serious sounding songs on CotCC: Zombies Ate My Pirate Ship. An excellent folkmetal-song with some thrash-elements. It also sports some vocal deliveries from Patty Gurdy, who also plays the hurdy gurdy on several tracks (I had a little chuckle while writing this sentence).
The second part of the album starts off with one of the most serious songs Alestorm ever spawned: Call of the Waves is a song about despair, and the boredom of an everyday life. It wraps up with a mighty chorus about a life as a pirate. The Alestorm-typical fanfares of trombones and trumpets accompany you, as you sail towards freedom on this track.
In a series of excellent coversongs Alestorm released up to this point (Wolves of the Sea, You are a Pirate from LazyTown and the incredibly awesome In the Navy to name but a few) Pirate’s Scorn is easily the weakest of them all. First appearing in the aforementioned Donkey Kong Country tv series, it’s not really a bad song upfront, but it nonetheless feels a little like a filler to me.
If you’re like me, and your humor lacks any kind of standard, you will love their second shortest song to date (If you count the seven seconds long Rumpelkombo as a song). Shit Boat (No Fans) consists of basically only a chorus, which is repeated three times. And it’s one minute fifteen seconds of pure, stupid fun.
Next song is Pirate Metal Drinking Crew and this one’s a little tough to rate. On one hand, it’s catchy as hell, with a great singalong chorus. On the other hand, I feel like I heard it before. The bridge-section is almost the same as in Shipwrecked, but I might just overthink it.
Since their third album Back Through Time, every album of them had one long epic track on it. For this one, it’s Wooden Leg Pt. 2 (the Woodening). It’s the sequel of Wooden Leg (duh…) from their fourth album Sunset on the Golden Age, and like the first one, the lyrics of this song walk on the weird side of life.
The pirate who told us the tale of how he lost his legs to the cannonballs of some “Spanish bastard”, and his arms to some “Japanese bastard” (in the first Wooden Leg), is now trying to get new limbs from the people who wronged him. Via voodoo magic of course. It’s epic. It’s weird. It’s exactly my kind of stupid humor.
Last (and kinda least) comes Henry Martin. A neat little traditional Scottish folk song. It’s a nice outro for the album, but the question “why?” always comes to mind when hearing it. Wooden Leg Pt. 2 would have been a perfect album closer. Maybe they thought :”Oh geez, the album is 2 minutes 30 seconds too short” or something.
The only thing I would consider “bad” about this album is the deluxe version. On No Grave but the Sea you at least got versions of the songs your dog could enjoy as an extra. But on this one, you get 16th century-versions, that sound like someone forgot to remove the mastertapes of this album from their pockets before washing their pants.
Alestorm will not make new fans with this album, but it should please the vast majority of their old ones. Even if it’s a little weaker than their previous record. I just hope they don’t get sued into poverty from Nintendo for using the liking of Donkey Kong as a skeleton on their cover, and that they can continue to make awesome music.
I like music. All of it. Except for schlager… And ballermann. Oh boy do I hate ballermann.