Just to be different from every other review of this album, I am going to resist the demanding urge to turn all pirate in the first few lines. There’ll be no timbers shivered, any pieces will not be of eight, Mainsails will remain far from hoisted and decks un-swabbed. Because I really don’t need to, Ye Banished Privateers are pirate enough for anyone! In truth, they are more a re-enactment society with instruments than a band – I mean, there’s more than 25 of the blaggards (damn, couldn’t stop that one creeping through…) and they absolutely throw themselves headlong into the whole pirate malarkey.
This isn’t a Metal album, even though it has it’s home on Napalm records, it is really a collection of shanties, Irish folk, drinking songs and sing-a-longs, delivered in a passionate, punk-fuelled manner that gets more and more fun the more alcohol is consumed. By both band and listener ideally – Copious is always a good amount, and let’s face it, that’s how it should be! But it would be unprofessional of me to succumb whilst reviewing this album (and no-one wants a review that reads wrrefhjd bhgsduyg, inskkliil, ryyyjnbm…), and there is much to enjoy whatever level of inebriation.
15 mostly up-beat tracks with ludicrous amounts of verses and criminally catchy choruses are the order of the day, utilizing various band members’ vocal abilities, both male and female (with the rest of the crew joining in for the choruses of course!) as well as all the traditional instruments you would expect. The lyrics range from poignant to bawdy – tracks like ‘Cooper’s Rum’, ‘Bosun’s Verses’ and ‘We Are Ye Banished Privateers’ are relatively self explanatory – you know what you’re going to get (though ‘Skippy Aye Yo’ has nothing to do with Kangaroo’s…and neither does ‘Ringeroo At Cooper’s Inn’ surprisingly…), and even the most cynical out there would find themselves drawn in by the total velcro of tracks like ‘Declaration Of Independence’, which I feel is the band at their best.
This is a mob (“band” seems too small a description) that just demand to be experienced in a live environment, I’m sure a studio album is just half the story. As I said earlier, this isn’t Metal, but incorporates that anarchic attitude within Metal so earnestly that Napalm knew immediately which music group would take it to their hearts. Incidentally, I wasn’t keen initially on reviewing this one, but I saw the utterly endearing two part Track-by-Track vid by members of the band on youtube and I was totally won over – I just had to hear it. If it doesn’t do the same for you, then you might just become a scurvy-ridden land-lubber, or suchlike – and I’m sure no-one wants that.
(6/10 Andy Barker)