Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Something Borrowed: "In the Navy," Alestorm/The Village People

Alestorm has a long and sordid history of strange cover songs — well at least as long as the band's brief history can provide.

Scotland’s premier purveyors of pirate metal have, after all, done rousing good covers of “Wolves of the Sea” (originally done by Latvian pop act Pirates of the Sea), “You Are a Pirate” (from the Icelandic children’s show Lazy Town) and “I Am a Cider Drinker” (originally done by the scrumpy and western band — whatever that is — The Wurzels).

But the Village People? I mean, you’ve got to draw the line somewhere, right?

In truth, it perfectly fits the goofy persona of the band. Apparently it was originally recorded in the sessions for their last album Back Through Time, but didn’t make the cut. That’s likely because there were already two covers on the album, and this one doesn’t come close to matching “You Are a Pirate” or “I Am a Cider Drinker.”

That said, the song is fun, and I have to admit, kind of catchy in an embarrassing sort of way.

They stick with the Village People melody, but put some pounding drums and crunching metal guitars underneath it. It’s not nearly as good as their previous covers, but it shouldn’t be taken for more than what it is — a fun goof.

Of course, all this support for the Navy might create some problems for their grogging and pillaging and wenching pirate personas. Seems to be a bit against their nature. But I suppose their upcoming studio album will reaffirm all of that.

Alestorm has been one of my favorite discoveries in years, and their tongue-in-cheek songs of pirate life — all with some solid metal backbone — haven’t yet failed to put a big grin on my face. I can’t wait to hear it.

I apologize in advance for the video below, but rules are rules, and I always give the original a spin. I can guarantee this will be the last time The Village People appear on this blog — unless, of course, Slayer decides to cover "YMCA."

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