Deathwatch Beetle Party – Storm Seeker (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

If metal, rock and all its sonic progeny and sub-genre offspring tend to have a bit of a reputation for being a bit too po-faced, earnest and humourless then Storm Seeker are exactly the band to change that perception. Although built on a solid wall of rock riffage, it is what other sounds they invite to the party which makes them such a joyous experience. Deathwatch Beetle Party booms with Sea Shanty sing-a-long vocals, gypsy-folk instrumentation, steampunk quirk, humour, easy accessibility and no small amount of piratical prose and nautical know-how.

And alongside the regular rock and roll musical arsenal of instrumentation it is their inclusion of the likes of the nyckelharpa and hurdy gurdy as well as generous helpings of accordion, which creates their unique sound. It which echoes with the sound of bands such as The Dropkick Murphys, the criminally under-rated Greenland Whalefishers, even the Pogues more raucous moments, as much it does the rock traditions which acts as their core balast.

There have been bands before who have attempted to mix the pirate vibe with the sonic maelstrom of metal or punk, but most seem to miss the mark. They either seem to be too gimmicky, appropriating the nautical theme seemingly as an afterthought or too overstated, coming across like actors rather than musicians. Storm Seeker pitch things just right, the perfect blend of song-writing and humour, musical deftness and songs which both work in terms of folky tradition and foot on the monitor, rabble rousing rock and roll too. And of course fun…which is the whole point after all.

With their third album Gun’s Don’t Cry about to wash up on a shore near you very soon, there is no better time to sign up, ship out and explore the seven seas with their gloriously raw and ragged folk-metal salvos ringing in your ears. Heave-Ho me hearties!

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