On the face of it, The Dread Crew of Oddwood is a band I really should know. After listening to their new album, Lawful Evil, I’m now on a quest to hear the rest. They check all the boxes, piracy, questiness, lyrics that don’t take themselves anywhere close to seriously, and metal. Actually the last one’s a lie, this came billed as acoustic pirate metal, and they are self professed Heavy Mahogany musicians. It’s ridiculous, and that’s how we like our music. I was going to save this for later in the week, but an episode or two of Black Sails has given me a thirst for piratical shanties.
There’s a mix of styles present through Lawful Evil. Songs such as the opening track, Join The Ranks, and Trollwhack have a distinctly Finntroll sort of feeling. Especially material like Försvinn Du Som Lyser from Visor Om Slutet.
On the opposite side of the coin there are tracks like Whalin’ Rumbo, a song taking place in a whale’s rectum, that sounds like what I imagine Spongebob Squarepants would be like if the makers were given free reign on Netflix. There are also songs like Heavy Mahogany that will have Manowar shitting themselves, “We are wooden lords” declare The Dread Crew of Oddwood, lets see if “The Kings of Metal” can withstand the wooden attack.
Sulfur (Official Video)
This is sort of music pubs should have on acoustic nights, begone vile singer-songwriter with your fake Cockney accent, welcome Oddwood with your songs about raising your pints (Raise Your Pint, it’s fairly literal). Welcome also songs about going on an Expedition on Heavy Submarine and tales of the Sand Lobster, a song which sounds like what would happen if the B-52s went metal and then performed an acoustic session.
This is the beauty of Lawful Evil, if you have it on as background listening it makes for a good folk album but if you pay attention to the lyrics you’ll be smiling to the end. Often when bands have comedic lyrics, the actual musical content suffers, but The Dread Crew of Oddwood have delivered a really enjoyable folk record with a broad range; vocally you have clean and dirty singers (pirate accents are a must), musically you have upbeat jigs like Dead Man’s Medley, you have the slower mournful Siren’s Song. There are songs like Side Quest and Sulfur that could easily transfer to a metal song with the flick of a pedal, yet others like Humours of Oddwood Isle would be nowhere near as fun heavied up.
Sure there is a bit of me that longs for a full metal kick in, but that would remove the bands unique selling point and, more importantly, would see lines like “in our wood we trust” lost to boring old metal.
I was slightly doubtful coming into this album, past me is a dick. If you enjoy folk metal on any level, this is the band for you (though if you like serious, meaningful lyrics, perhaps look elsewhere. And stop being boring).
Lawful Evil will be available from March 25th, find the band here on Facebook to keep up to date.
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