Like a Cask of Rum, Alestorm's Merry Pirate Metal Gets Stronger with Age on 'Curse of the Crystal Coconut'

Like a Cask of Rum, Alestorm's Merry Pirate Metal Gets Stronger with Age on 'Curse of the Crystal Coconut'
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At a time like this, a reminder from Scotland's merry "pirate metal" crew Alestorm that nothing can be taken too seriously has never been more welcome. Even band leader Christopher Bowes wouldn't have thought, back when the band formed in 2007, that they would one day be 13 years and six albums in, getting all the attention they are. Yet here we are in 2020, listening to what is quite possibly Alestorm's most ridiculous album yet, and that's saying an awful lot. 

Curse of the Crystal Coconut is as ridiculously catchy as it is straight-up ridiculous, with tracks like "Treasure Chest Party Quest," "Fannybaws" and "Pirate's Scorn" containing some of the hookiest choruses in the band's catalogue. It's incredible that Alestorm haven't run out of pirate riffs and lyrics about drinking, pillaging and sailing the seas, but this record is packed with all those and even more. It's clear that Alestorm aren't playing by any rules and don't care what anyone thinks, but there's also reason to suspect that they're actively trying to turn up the absurdity this time around, particularly with a rap verse on "Tortuga," courtesy of Rumahoy's Captain Yarrface, and the lyrics of "Zombies Ate My Pirate Ship," "Shit Boat (No Fans)" and "Pirate Metal Drinking Crew." But perhaps the most nonsensical of all is "Wooden Leg Part 2 (The Woodening)" — the second part of Sunset on the Golden Age's "Wooden Leg" — which Bowes himself has said is the stupidest song Alestorm has ever done.

Anyone who likes Alestorm for their tendency to be as laughable as possible will find plenty to enjoy on this album — and musically, it's quite strong as well. No Alestorm album is a masterpiece by any means, but when it comes to mindless fun, they know exactly what they're doing. Comedic pirate metal may sound like something that would be fun for an album or two, but against all odds, Alestorm have somehow improved with time. (Napalm)