“We’re only here to have fun, get drunk and make loads of money!”. Thus begins the admirably honest chorus to ‘Treasure Chest Party Quest’ the latest Alestorm party anthem, which opens latest album Curse of the Crystal Coconut (Napalm Records).
A band you either love or hate, Alestorm continues walking the plank of their own peculiar brand of pirate metal, seeming to gain more fans with every release. Never failing to deliver anything but a storming live show, the band might have to pull out all the stops even further the next time they drop anchor on your shores.
After the catchy-as-fuck opener, ‘Fannybaws’ follows with a story about a legendarily randy, rum-swilling, red-bearded pirate, and is every bit as ridiculous as it sounds, while ‘Chomp Chomp’ is a fast-paced, enjoyable little sea shanty about alligators, crocodiles, and caymans.
Unfortunately, with ‘Tortuga’, the album falls off a cliff. Hard. The idea might have sounded good at 3 am after six crates of rum, but the only place for this Limp Bizkit meets Pirates of The Caribbean mess is Davy Jones’ Locker. One of the better cuts, ‘Zombies Ate my Pirate Ship’ steadies the ship a little, but the thoroughly unremarkable ‘Call of the Waves’ doesn’t even have the benefit of silly lyrics to save it.
Things pick up again with the infectious bouncy Celtic jiggery of ‘Pirate’s Scorn’, but ‘Shit Boat (No Fans)’ tries to be this album’s ‘Fucked With an Anchor’ but without any of the wit, charm or sophistication. ‘Pirate Metal Drinking Crew’ keeps things simple and suitably vulgar, while the eight-minute ‘Wooden Leg Part 2 (The Woodening)’ sounds like a Gloryhammer leftover, but with only a fraction of the quality. Ending with the downbeat ‘Henry Martin’, the cover of the traditional Scottish folk song unfortunately only serves to highlight the limitations of vocalist Christopher Bowes.
To its credit, Curse of the Crystal Coconut does feature some gloriously stupid moments and a few seriously catchy hooks, but like the Indiana Jones movie with a similar title, the lack of ideas apparent on certain tracks suggests the joke might finally wearing thin, even with the band themselves.
5 / 10