Okay so the music isn’t actually by pirates, though that would be cool as well. But today I am bringing you an album which is not very well known, by a band which sadly broke up after releasing this, their only album. And it’s a shame, because they were incredibly talented.
Once upon a time, around 2004, 2005 if my memory serves me correct, I started going to a small music festival called Black Stump for a few years. The first couple of years I visited, my friends and I were rather taken by the sheer abundance of ska music there (like reggae music but faster and with a brass section (and sometimes saxophone too), to cut a long story short), and we enjoyed this genre which we had hitherto been unexposed. Although a lot of these bands were very small and would never even make it big on a national scale in Australia, let alone beyond that, it was fun, and we discovered a lot of great music.
Perhaps the most memorable of all the ska bands there was one called Sounds Like Chicken, who also had elements of rock, punk, jazz, rap, and goodness knows what else in their style. They released a couple of EPs, and then they released their album: …Like A Cannonball To The Ocean Floor. The album had a definite pirate style, with song titles such as “Walk Ye The Plank”, “20 Fathoms Deep”, and this one (the first of several clips I want to show you), called “Scourge Of The Black Spot”:
While that song was quite openly about, well, being a pirate, their style changed a lot on the album, with different band members taking lead vocals on different songs, and the music moving smoothly between wildly different genres. They were an amazing band to see live, and even if the crowds were only ever a few hundred that was enough for the atmosphere to be full of energy. On top of this, these guys just had a great sense of humour – something I’ve always loved about the Australian music scene. While the previous song was rather bluntly about pirates, the next one, “Spilt Beers and Drunken Tears”, is more subtle with the humour (though not too subtle) – make sure you listen to the whole song as it changes towards the end:
This last song is one that I just find extremely catchy and impossible not to tap your feet along to, and is called “Caution (The Riddle Of Blackbeard’s Cove)”:
This band, who never quite achieved the success they deserved, may long have since broken up, but their music lives on with the few of us who were lucky enough to see them in action and get our hands on this brilliant album (the entirety of which is on Youtube if you are curious and want to hear more).
Does ye fancy this music with a swig of rum for good measure, or will it be the plank for ye?