SWASHBUCKLE - Crime Always Pays CD
Now how the hell did I miss out on this one last year? I've written nice things about these New Jersey pirates in the past. Hell I've even turned some people on to em since they played locally in Dec.2009 and Jan 2010. In all honesty those people were really into spectacle metal and heavy drinking. SWASHBUCKLE's in your face and entertaining pirate themed thrash attack was secondary in their minds. Speaking of which on Crime Always Pays these buccaneers have strayed away a bit from their former NYHC/Thrash/Crossover fun style and have gained a more melodic death metal feel to some songs. I won't go so far as to say they've become AMON AMARTH with tri-corner hats and eye patches but on cuts like "Where Victory is Penned" or "At the Bottom of a Glass" it's fairly evident. No complaints here since this band needed some changes if they were gonna continue on without becoming monotonous like ALESTORM.
The release opens with a kinda folksy pirate instrumental "Slowly Wept the Sea" after which the jolly roger is risen and all hell breaks loose with "We Are the Storm". It's a decent cut up until it breaks down into a BEASTIE BOYS rap near mid-point, but ends as it started. "Powder Keg" brings on a audience participating chorus of "yo ho ho" chanting. As far as the release on a whole it sounds angry as opposed to their previously fun thrash approach. The title cut is a fierce sonovabitch as well as "Raw Doggin at the Raw Bar". Captain Nobeard's vocals are down right hostile whether he's screaming or almost growling. It's as if someone denied em their rum allotment while recording this new one. There's no abundance of corny pirate themed intros or ditties on here with the exception of the traditional folk tinged "Of Hooks & Hornswogglers" which comes in near mid-point and the closer "Rope's End". All in all a decent change of pace for a band in need of it.