Put simply, this is the album we never meant to make. It was a record-something-every-month project, named for a safecracker (a “Cracksman”) and a blackjack with a woman’s name (a “Betty”), adorned with pirate skull and burglar’s tools, and we finished it up last December… or so we thought.

But the thing is, I went back and gave those recordings another good hard listen, and realised that I’d improved a lot both as a vocalist and an engineer over that year.

So I decided to clean it up, and do some new vocals, and oh, I can totally make Dalek Boy funnier, and Old Black Rum can be a lot more rowdy, and oh, I have this new song (“Song for a Blockade Runner/High Barbaree”) that’ll fit in just great, and…

…somewhere along the way, this became an album. It became a piece, a thing, not just an assemblage. Not a complex a piece as Dick Tracy Must Die or far-reaching as Din of Thieves will be, perhaps, but an entity, a set.

‘Or,’ I asked myself, ‘did it? Really? Am I just making that up? Let’s ask some beta listeners.’

And the first response back was:

everything I hear in these tracks is totally Next Level from what came before.

…followed by an assortment of “impressive,” “SO MUCH BETTER” [capslock in the original], “awesome,” and “I love Dalek Boy so much.”

So I guess I wasn’t making it up!

But what is it? Here’s the track list:

  1. Song for a Blockade Runner/High Barbaree
  2. Captain Kidd
  3. Paddy Murphy (Victory Boulevard Style)
  4. I’m a Rover (Live in Juanita Bay)
  5. Columbia (Scene from a Revolution)
  6. Danny Boy (Instrumental) (Live at El Dorado)
  7. Red is the Rose (with Leannan Sidhe)
  8. Great Big Sea
  9. Old Black Rum (West Coast Style)
  10. Dalek Boy (Cyborgs Behaving Badly)
  11. Red is the Rose (Live in Studio – bonus track)
  12. Dalek Boy (Radio edit – bonus track)
  13. The S-100 Bus (Live in studio – web-only bonus track)

I think it’s CRIME and the Forces of Evil – or various subsets thereof – not taking everything quite so seriously. I think it’s an alternate history lesson, and it’s kicking back in the studio just to have fun, and it’s riot girls dyking our way around Vancouver starting fights (also fun), and it’s piracy, and it’s kicking out some Cascadian folk and cyborg lulz.

And it’s dropping on Monday. Of that much, I’m sure. 😀