Portland bassist Kevin O’Reilly had a promising epiphany in 2010, an urge to take the rich tales in his favorite folk tunes and record them with big-rock chunk and drums for maximum oomph.

O’Reilly’s large-scale collaborative project is called The Shellback Brigade. He and his spirited cohorts recently dropped “The Pollywog’s Lament,” an effort that at times wields a Dropkick Murphys snarl for its ambitious folk redux.

As a concept, “The Pollywog’s Lament” intrigues. Most of the cuts boast strong stories and bold arrangements. The shortcoming is in the execution. “Blind Man’s Bluff” sounds like a simple chantey, but it sinks fast with agro Slash guitar licks. After a promising start, “The Tale of Finn O’Doul” and its bombastic drums are hard to take seriously against the cartoony overkill in the singing. The tenets of smooth syntax never entered the equation on this track, and it suffers greatly for it.

Overall on this CD, O’Reilly’s vocals are too often unwieldy and over-articulated.

By contrast, there’s some believable longing in set highlight “Wild Mountain Thyme,” a traditional number given The Byrds treatment here. The track employs a patient jangle and offers promise for the type of tune O’Reilly’s side project will be capable of in the future. Give the Brigade some credit: They threw everything at the wall, and some of it stuck.

Mike Olcott is a freelance writer.