SWASHBUCKLE are a band who seem to be admitting in everything that they do that they do not take their music too seriously, nor do they expect anyone else to. This is not to say that they are not serious about their music, but rather that their music is not serious. It is simply fun.
As their name implies, the band have adopted a pirate theme, complete with farcical pirate stage monikers and buccaneer costumes. The music is pure Thrash Metal with barked vocals, and this album even contains a Thrash version of the theme from Spongebob Squarepants.
Yet as cheesy as all of this sounds, there is some really good metal contained here. The playing may not be all that technical, but it is fast and aggressive. The lyrics are gimmicky, but beneath their surface are themes that Metalheads can understand and appreciate: alienation from the mainstream, brotherhood and camaraderie, faithfulness vs. disloyalty. Whether intentionally or not, SWASHBUCKLE seem to have turned pirates into an allegory for the Metal lifestyle.
There is pretty good interplay between furious bursts of Thrash and mellower acoustic guitar, and it is on these that the band demonstrate their skills as musicians, for the acoustic playing is far more technical than the Thrashing. These interludes also help create some variety for the listener as well as create a mental image of an oceanborne setting.
Of course, all of this is pretty pretentious analysis for something that, as mentioned, is not meant to be taken seriously. It would be best to sum everything up by stating that “Crewed By The Damned” is a Thrashing good time. Give it a listen and have some fun.
(Online June 16, 2009)