Albums Of The Year So Far (pt.2): Featuring The Soundtrack Of Our Lives, Captain Black Beard, Drought, St. Prostitute and more…
4. Captain Black Beard – Captain Black Beard (www.captainblackbeard.net)
First things first. Vocalist/guitarist Sakaria Björklund might sport an impressive set of murky bristles on his chin but Captain Black Beard are categorically not a band of pirate metalists. So if you’re a peg-legged Alestorm fan, hobble away now, me hearty.
These Swedish swashbucklers actually play an idiosyncratic brand of melodic pop-metal that has its roots the lighter side of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (Black Axe, Paralex, Sabre). Star of the show is guitarist Fredrik Svensson, who’s as much at home delivering a jangling shower of notes as a searing solo. Bandmate Björklund might not be the greatest singer in the world but his enthusiasm and distinctive phraseology more than compensates.
Each of the 11 songs is mightily memorable but there are several standouts: rip-roaring opener Hey Man; the elegiac Rock Is My Life (“bourbon my fuel” taking a creditable second place); and Summer Nights, a jaunty celebration of those rare but treasured Scandi-days when the sun shines near enough right around the clock (“We give it full throttle… hand me a bottle”).
But our all-time fave has gotta be Rockin’ Body, a chunky-but-cheeky paean to a girl who’s got “a drink in her hand and a nice tan”. What more could a man want? There’s more: “Friday night and the stakes are high – it’s high heels and a limousine.” Drop everything, Sugar Hut* here I come!
*Notorious Essex nightclub full of orange people drinking high-strength cocktails.