The Dread Crew of Oddwood
Rust & Glory

Hailing from California The Dread Crew of Oddwood, still falls into the metal category, although they play a combination of Celtic and Folk music, all interwoven into the Heavy Metal universe, however, they do it without electric guitars/bass.  Instrumentation ranges from the stand-up bass, mandolin, tin whistle, drums, and accordion, just to name a few as well as several of the members all chipping in with their vocals.

Far be it for me to tell you what the hell this band sounds like, however, one of my favorite bands of all time is the now-defunct Newfoundland Canadian Great Big Sea.  Picture GBS if they only sang their folk/celtic tunes and then made those songs faster as well and threw in a lot of pirate imagery and swashbuckling shenanigans and you’ve got The Dread Crew of Oddwood.  The band has just finished a big tour with Týr and Trollfest, and fits perfectly in with those bands.  I had never heard of this band, until this 5th album, Rust & Glory, and since then have obtained their digital discography, which is all quite stellar.

13 songs in 44 minutes “Lawful Evil” takes center stage as the album opener wasting no time with the jumpiness and scorching upright bass plucking away and the chorus is going to stay in your head for days on end.  The main acoustic and mandolin moments are played as if there are regular electric guitars, therefore this band does write “riffs” and they are catchy on all their releases.  The sea shanty stylized pirate arrrrggggghhhh main vocals will have you putting a patch on your left eye, taking out that good ‘ole peg leg and start to pirate slam all over your place.  The accordion has a prominent increase in the mix, especially towards the end of this great opener.  “Leather Ship” is such a fun video on YouTube, and will make you grab that huge stein filled with Meade and start swilling it all over and this song is slightly slower than the very upbeat opener.  I can clearly hear that tin whistle on this song, being piped in, makes me want to get one.  Killer chorus and the song has a very warm feel, as I listen to it on my sea vessel, as I haul in about 5 tons of shrimp, today.

With their hysterical and fun lyrics, and if you were a huge fan of their prior songs, such as “Land Ho”, you will no doubt have a blast with “Giant Fucking Demon Crab”, which is realized on this album cover.  Starting out rather slow, then picking up in pace about this monstrosity and the soaring chorus hitting at the one-minute mark, once the song title is sung, especially in the rhythm and syncopated style, just give up folks….this will be in your head for weeks and months on end.  One of my favorite songs for all of 2024.  It’s ridiculous and the instrumentation during the chorus – one can even say this is the breakdown groove and yes, you can absolutely slam to this part, starting a swashbuckling mosh pit, while the crowd walks the plank from the stage and lands on their faces….I can see it now!

“Locomotive Death” sounds like a song that UK’s Lawnmower Deth would write and this song is pretty darn fast and the rhythm section is tight and very catchy…the chorus featuring everyone chipping away and may be the catchiest moments on this album, which is ridiculous, since every song is catchier than the next.

The Dread Crew of Oddwood were never on my radar, but once I heard this album I picked up this discography, I did the same with the bands they just finished their tour with.  This band is fascinating and it’s impossible to be in a bad mood when listening to this very talented and fun band.  Rust & Glory is one of the best albums for 2024 and I look forward to their continued releases.  I am hopeful we do not have to wait another 8 years for the next album, since the excellent Lawful Evil, their last album, was released at 2016.  Rust & Glory is a most excellent release and super fun listen that has been in constant rotation since before its initial release.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
May 14th, 2024

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