The look of this band, and the album cover, may not initially excite. Skulls and cross bones. Piratical tales. What’s new? Well nothing really but there is a certain infectious charm to this second album from East Anglia’s bunch of Jolly Roger Renegades.
Tales of lust and eye-patched debauchery are wrapped up in an urgent folk/punk rock delivery: Adam Ant meets Tenpole Tudor via The Pogues. Some of these pieces would even give Levellers a run for their money.
The songs are well written too, some based on genuine folk tales, and never quite falling into farce or parody. ‘The Curse Of Captain Blood’, ‘The Revenge Of Emmy Tot’ and ‘John Dobbs Bones’ are standout examples of the band’s art. ‘Emmy Tot’ in particular has a wonderful – if all too brief – breakdown riff section whilst ‘Powderkeg’ further highlights the shiver-me-timbers guitars of “Kutthroat Kev” and “Admiral Jonnie Murder”.
New recruits to this salty mayhem will have to buy into the whole pirate rock thing, but it isn’t too difficult and I am sure this is wonderful live when washed down with copious amounts of grog. And like the grog, refreshing and highly addictive in equal measures. ****
Review by David Randall
David Randall presents ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 22:00 GMT.
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