It’s not often you hear the words punk and pirates in the same sentence but that could all change with the debut album, “Swashbuckle & Swagger”, from Cornish crew Pirate Copy. Transferring a riotous live sound to track is never easy but this album is a treasure chest of party anthems, rock ’n’ roll groove, rum and buccaneering spirit.
It’s not all plain sailing though as the piratical flavour doesn’t always work but when it does on songs like “Somalian Pirates Suck”, “The Crew” or legendary set closer “I’m On A Boat” you get swept along on a sea of gang chants, brotherhood and good old fashioned fun.
“Legends Of The Afterparty” kicks us off in style and sets out their stall from the off. Dirty garage style punk that’s packed with riffs to spare, rumbling basslines and infectious singalong choruses all combine and create the perfect storm of punk rock anarchy.
“All Drunks On Deck” takes the party spirit further in a song about where all the rum has gone, which is enhanced with a lyric video released in advance of the album. It’s a raging fist pumping drinking anthem that’s sure to go down a storm in their live set.
“Dead Man’s Dance” is more restrained but set against the other songs here it doesn’t really work. A case of more stagger than swagger and likewise “I Ate My Mate” is a childish singalong ditty that whilst has a couple of humorous lyrics doesn’t grab your attention in the same way. Fortunately sandwiched between these two stale bits of bread is the very tasty morsel of “Somalian Pirates Suck” which rampages along like Motorhead if they drank rum instead of whiskey but with added pop sensibility as the gang chants of “whoa whoa whoa” draw you to the rocks like a sirens call, all over a filthy groove that will live in your ears for weeks.
The second half of this album is really strong with “Outlaw Pirates”, with its buzzing guitars being the precursor to another earworm of a chorus whilst “Water Water Everywhere” starts slowly with a monster rock n roll groove reminiscent of Kvelertak, interspersed with faster verses with guitars layered on top of each other creating a tsunami of sound.
“Kicked Out The Pub” works where “Dead Man’s Dance” and “I Ate My Mate” failed, combining humour, piracy and rock ’n’ roll in a more coherent groove with another massive singalong chorus. And sure to be a live favourite “The Crew” takes elements of the hardcore fraternity, with its group vocals and gang mentality of togetherness, that is the very definition of swashbuckle and swagger.
Penultimate track “I’m On A Boat” is already a live favourite and it’s easy to see why, a raucous track that doesn’t let up for one minute as guitar riffs rain down over some pummelling drum beats. It’s frantic and exhilarating stuff that races away to a chaotic climatic finish. Breathless stuff.
All of which makes final song, “Punk Rock Pirates”, seem a little safe in comparison, although it still retains their unique sound I feel that it would have been better served further down the track listing.
It may be a niche sound, but there’s no doubting the quality of most of the songs here and you certainly don’t need a treasure map to strike gold with a number of real standout songs so grab yourself a bottle of rum and get ready to sail the seven seas.
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This review was written by Lee Morton.