Alestorm – Curse of the Crystal Coconut

Band: Alestorm
Album: Curse of the Crystal Coconut
Release Date: 29th May 2020
Record Label: Napalm Records

Well, what is there to say about Alestorm? They’re a bit like Marmite, people either love them or hate them. Admittedly their lyrics have gone a little bit off piste from their pirate routes at times, but don’t take them too seriously and you’re going to have a lot of fun. I have been looking forward to this new release, particularly with the three singles they released before the album release date, so I am definitely expecting to say “Oh wow!” a few times during this listen.

Treasure Chest Party Quest is the first track and the first single from the album and it’s very, very catchy. If your first listen is with the video then you would be forgiven for wondering what the fuck is going on and thinking that this isn’t very “pirate” at all, but listening to the track alone, if definitely has the pirate theme with the rhythms, and lyrically traditional pirates meet modern day rich boi rock stars. The chorus is catchy and I always find myself singing along (very badly)! There’s the new Alestorm staple with a breakdown for Elliot to showcase his harsh vocals.

Next up is probably my favourite pre-album release track, Fannybaws! It’s happy, jiggy, and a track to have a good old boogie to! It’s another catchy one, with references to earlier Alestorm tracks and Scottish slang. When we are all allowed out on the seven seas again, this will be an excellent one to chant along to. I’ve been having solo jig pits in my room to this track many a time in lockdown. Chomp Chomp has a heavier intro, and feel with the drums and rhythm, but there’s still that pirate melody over the top, and plenty of opportunity to shout “Chomp Chomp!” During the verses there a much heavier metal feel, and only the lyrics will give away that you’re not listening to traditional heavy metal band.

The second single, Tortuga, is up next, with a bit of hip-hop vibe to it. It’s catchy and great for some terrible sexy dancing (which none of you are going to see from me!) It even features the mighty Captain Yarrface, from the good ship Rumahoy. A more sobering and serious sounding start for one of the silliest sounding song names on the album, Zombie Ate My Pirate Ship. The instrumental sounds a lot more serious in general with a power metal feel, and it’s a slower pace that previous tracks, but the lyrics are no less ridiculous. Come on, do you expect a serious song from Alestorm after all this time?

Changing up the pace quite substantially is Call of the Waves, it’s fiddle heavy with fast drums. The chorus is catchy and feels triumphant. This feels like the most traditional “pirate metal” song on the album so far for me. Pirate’s Scorn has a nice build up to it, before kicking into another jig melody. It feels like an acoustic version would be perfect for a tavern. This is definitely another solo jig pit job until I get to see this track live! This track is far too short though, as with most tracks this upbeat in the world!

Shit Boat (No Fans) now takes the trophy for the most ridiculous track so far on this album, and it’s wonderful. It feels like a response to the extremely vile enemies Rumahoy, who of course they absolutely hate… Hearing several thousand people shout along to this live is going to be a spectacle that I DON’T want to miss!

What else do you need in lockdown right now apart from a Pirate Metal Drinking Crew? This is a track to have a nice little dance and drink to. I feel like I need a tankard of mead while bopping along to this. And of course, Alestorm hate us all still, as they do in Fucked With An Anchor. So, who wants to start up a new pirate metal drinking crew with me? No one? Oh, ok…

An 8 minute long epic is the penultimate track. Wooden Leg Part 2 (The Woodening) is worthy of a movie soundtrack. We’ve got some blast beats which feels very kvlt and black metal, dare I say there is a little bit of… Wintersun… in this with the instrumental. We soon get back to a more Alestorm feel, and the chorus seems very, familiar, as do some of the instrumental sections… This feels like Alestorm have almost written a full blown power metal epic!

A slow and somber ending to the album, Henry Martin, is a tale of three brothers who decide that one of them should become a pirate to sustain the family. This is a swaying song, with lighters and arms in the air.

The Deluxe version of this album (available to buy via Napalm Records, or to listen to on Spotify), also contains a 16th century version of each track, which I highly recommend you also give a listen to. It sounds very, very traditional.

Alestorm do silly, and they do silly REALLY well. I must admit when the sillier side first started appearing in previous albums, but it’s really grown on me and I’ve found myself LITERALLY LOL’ing a lot during this album. Now, please excuse me while I give this multiple listens and have myself a good old boogie and drink…

Alestorm – Fannybaws

Verdict: 10/10

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