By Dusty Ray
The salty brine lapping at your brow, a cool sea breeze blowing through your beard, the sweet taste of rum on your lips; these sensations can all be found on Band of Pirates’ latest EP Live By the Gun, Die by the Rum.
This album sings of the sea, and opens up strong with “Black Hearted Bankers,” a ballad that reminds one of the tempting songs of mermaids luring unsuspecting pirates into the deep. The vocals sound a little like Eugene Hutz of Gogol Bordello, and a lot like a drunken sailor.
The crowning achievement on this short EP, however, is “Calm Before the Stormlord.” This track best represents the Band of Pirates’ sound: Gritty, low-fi and filled with the sway and brutality of a Nor’easter.
The final track, “Belay the Avarice,” closes out the EP on a lighter note; the storm has passed, the sea is calm, and the sails are raised.
Band of Pirates take the listener on an unexpected journey. Who would have guessed that a group of audacious, sea-weathered pirates call Colorado home? They have a sound that is both original and genre-specific. Are they truly pirates? It certainly sounds like being landlocked troubles them; they long to return to the foamy embrace of Poseidon.
The band is no novelty; they play gritty swashbuckling music without remorse. A ghostly originality weaves its way through the tracks, dirty acoustic guitar, humming accordion and raspy growled vocals create a sound that would get even Blackbeard’s foot tapping.