Swashbuckle - We Hate The Sea (EP) (2014)

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Pirate metal, for all of its energy and seafaring tales, was never going to be the worldwide go to for every metal maniac. This isn't to say it's a flash in the pan, or a gimmick, or even not worthy of your listenership. But with few bands doing the style, and even fewer doing it well, the chances of stumbling onto a top notch nautical themed band is getting slimmer by the day. Luckily, there are those proud few that carry their flags into battle across the globe, and plunder stages the world over every night. After being told once to throw my hook in the air and let out a hearty "Ar," Swashbuckle was never going to fade from my periphery again. Their new EP, a short and emphatic return, is as balls out as it is honest; We Hate The Sea.

Not burdened with some of the more fantasy based lyrics of other acts, songs like Beer Goggles are equal parts crude and sonically assaulting on the senses. It's message is loud and clear, with or without the lyric sheet, and with ever smashing drum beat, your blurry vision gets moreso. It allows one minute slam fests like I Hate The Sea (And Everything In It) function that much more independently. This isn't a long, flowing story, nor does it have to be. It stands as four compact pieces of pounding bass lines and shredding riffs. Conjuring up memories of the classic diarrhea song, Poop Deck Toilet Wreck, is a cautionary tale about having that clean pair of underwear your mom always warned you about. Well, maybe not, but it isn't too far off the point. But perhaps most true to the band and their sound that has won over more than a fair share of fans along the way, Slaughter Upon International Waters shows that they still have the ability to hack, slash and shred their way through a mosh pit.

This isn't a new or foreign topic; music doesn't have to be overly complex or even serious to be enjoyable. Sometimes, you want it to be neither. And for the last decade or so, Swashbuckle has filled that void in the lives of many people, pillaging and plundering their brains and minds, one half hour at a time. And regardless of where they rank on your pantheon of metal bands of the world, that won't be a name or a sound you'll soon forget. That does count for something, after all. If you think you'll be happier with stories of pirates going back in time to fight the Vikings, there are other bands for that. But when it comes to booze fueled debauchery, We Hate The Sea is high seas mayhem, just the way you want it.

7/10

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