Riverboat Gamblers

Confusion? Naw. The point on this 14-track slammer by the Denton-born, Austin-based Gamblers is as clear as a middle-finger salute with one fist and a roundhouse from the other. With producer Andrew "Mudrock" Murdock tightening and buffing the sound up from the somewhat more anarchic crackle of their last two Tim Kerr-helmed albums and even Rolling Stone anointing them as a "band to watch," these trad-leaning punk rock 'n' rollers are ready to take their place in a loud 'n' proud lineage that stretches back to the MC5 (whose jazzy experimentalism is hinted at by the organ and sax on "Year of the Rooster") and the Stooges. Follow that crunch 'n' chant line through the Dictators, early Clash (echoed on "Don't Bury Me...I'm Still Not Dead"), Ramones, Replacements (recalled on "Black Nothing of a Cat") and Misfits, and these delinquent card sharks are the natural contemporary culmination. And even if the twin Uzi spray of axe-slashers Freddy Castro and Ian MacDougall is even older than they are, singer Mike Wiebe and the songs he delivers about a band on the run from anything resembling social conformity brand their tried 'n' true sonic slugfest with their own trademark. Like a shot of adrenaline with a tall-boy beer chaser or a cocktail of piss 'n' vinegar, this shit will fuck you up in the best way possible.


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