We haven’t heard a peep from the Denton, Texas natives, Riverboat Gamblers, since the punk rock five piece released their latest full-length “Underneath The Owl” back in 2009. Of course after opening for bands like Rancid and Rise Against, you really don’t have to talk too much — just release the casual 7” or EP in between records to keep fans appeased and you won’t have any issues. Enter the groups latest Paper + Plastick Records-backed EP “Smash / Grab,” which suddenly has me eager to grab and eat skyscrapers.
This one-two-punch, short four track EP begins with the track, “The Ol’ Smash And Grab,” which follows the bands formula of upbeat punk and thumping basslines that fans have come to expect. The effort then shows the bands maturity, mirroring acts like American Steel, on “Parasite Friends“ with chipper indie sensibilities and an earthy, reflective, bridge. Luckily, Riverboat Gamblers don’t step on the toes of their previous eccentric lyricism, as we see with the verse, “I think you should meet my shrink, i think the two of you could compare notes and please get back to me.”
Rounding out the EP is the Dukes of Hazzard-inspired track “Maggie Lea,” that swiftly pounds around for a little over two minutes with twangy smudged fretwork and fuzzy hoarse vocals shouting “Maggie Lea, Maggie Lea, Maggie Lea, Maggie Lea.” Who ever this song was made for, you should be happy most of the songs lyrics are your name. Now get a restraining order on Mike Wiebe (lead singer) immediately. Unless he’s referring to a car or a new weed nickname I wasn’t aware of. “Lea” = with crystal meth, or no? ”Anything But You,” the bookend to this eight minute long EP, is a lofi, fast-paced, punk track, complete with muffled vocals and production and a tragically short, 1:09 running time.
“Smash / Grab” is a very apt description of this EP, with a robbery connotation, Riverboat Gamblers have smashed into our wallets and grabbed a few bucks for this smoke-break of an effort. Sure the bands latest, “Underneath The Owl” showed true progression for the band and was a solid effort through out, but with an EP that has only a select few tracks, if they don’t all exceed expectations and show the bands best, they sort of fall flat and with one or two stand up songs, Riverboat Gamblers have lost this bet. [Staff]
Score: 2.5 (out of 5)
Release Date: July 12th, 2011
Record Label: Paper + Plastick Records
RIYL: Dead To Me, American Steel, Cobra Skulls
1. The Ol’ Smash And Grab
2. Parasite Friends
3. Maggie Lea
4. Anything But You
Leave a comment
You must be logged in to post a comment.