Yes, it’s what you think it is.
There’s merit is musical themes and kitschy concepts. For the most part, these types of things play out in the topics of albums and songs, but for Alestorm, it’s their entire schtick. Their pirate-metal theme is one that has surely remained their own, having operated within this same theme since 2004. Alestorm is the kind of band that people either really love for the outlandishness of it all, or they either really hate them for that same reason. Regardless, they’ve locked that approach down, and Curse of the Crystal Coconut is just another example of how they’ve certainly mastered this sound. There’s even some comedy in it, though that may be inadvertent.
For starters, “Treasure Chest Party Quest,” the album starter with probably one of the best song titles ever, comes in hot with Andrew W.K. energy—a liveliness that for Alestorm, takes that typical party drive and transforms it into a swashbuckling to-do in the bowels of a ship. It’s hard not to chuckle when their lyrics are so cheekily on brand. “Treasure Chest…” literally harkens on They Live with the lyrical line of “We’re only here to have fun, get drunk, and make loads of money!” The next track “Fannybaws” continues that type of narrative, regarding ocean excursions for rum and wild times, while “Shit Boat (No Fans)” is hilarious for more reasons than just its title (though any song referring to a “bag of dicks” is worthy of at least a chuckle).
Alestorm’s themes make it a little difficult to shift focus from the considerably loud subject matter to the band member’s actual proficiency in playing. That isn’t to say that adeptness isn’t there though. “Chomp Chomp” has a riff characteristic of any quickened thrash track thanks to Máté Bodor—vocals from Finntroll’s Mathias Lillmåns lend a hand in this as well—while “Tortuga” somehow finds a way to vocally make nu-metal rap rhyming okay in buccaneer sense. It’s unexpected, but that’s also a part of what makes Alestorm what they are.
Their ocean bandit leitmotifs are surely reliable, but the surprise comes in the moments throughout their discography where the silliness and musical mastery meet at a point of appreciation. Curse of the Crystal Coconut is typical Alestorm fodder, but that’s something to love them for.