Legend of the Seagullmen is an odd duck from the get-go. It's a collaboration between Tool drummer Danny Carey and Mastodon mastermind Brent Hinds. And it's a nautical-themed concept album about the adventures of someone called the Seagull King.
Fans of Mastodon's swamp prog and Tool's art-school alternative will find plenty to like, with "The Orca" being the most familiar to both groups. But it's on the other tracks where the band really manage to find their groove. "The Fogger" descends into a squall of fretwork in its last minute, while "Ballad of the Deep Sea Diver" changes dynamics on a dime and Alestorm would trade their peg legs for a chance to add "Shipswreck" to their catalogue.
Bizarrely, it's the (still living) ghost of Primus's Les Claypool that haunts this album's intentionally silly concept. Overall, the "wacky" humour of the lyrics ends up undercutting most of the ideas that Brent Hinds' guitar wizardry and Danny Carey's polyrhythmic madness come up with. Let's hope Legend of the Seagullmen isn't a one-off, because there's a lot of potential to unlock here. Then again, this is a side project — clearly, no one is taking themselves too seriously. (Dine Alone)