Sound — 8
Having created a real mystery around their fire energetic shows with cutting teeth onstage, Riverboat Gamblers revealed another reason to go see them live -- a new LP record. Guys act in a very popular nowdays new-punk rebel manner -- asking a record company for ear-tube phones, so that they could look like assholes talking to no one as we walk down Sixth Street, putting dumb pictures in their bios and putting out an album with a very perky name To The Confusion Of Our Enemies. Though the band sounds fresh and still spends summers in Vans Warped Tour, it's their fourth attempt to sign a deal. To The Confusion Of Our Enemies is a serious statement and it already helped the band to get the stamp of the best band without a major-label deal at SXSW Sometimes it sounds almost like a teenage pop-punk band, but upbeat drums and aggressive rock feel saves the Gambler from poppy cliche. Miniature songs are tightly stuffed with tempo changes, hooky guitar lines, unpredictable melodies and hysterical humor, each owning the ideas worth for three normal tracks. Guitars are scrupulously created and played and you can hope for some crunchy riffs. Even being mostly shouted-though by a bunch of guys, the melodies are catchy and interesting. The band makes some nice slow fill-ins to dilute the rush of songs -- like in Bury Me... I'm Still Not Dead and old-school rock bridges (like in The Curse Of The Ivory Coast). A few times the intention of the band to be original and funny comes to ridiculous points -- Unicorn Shave Your Horn would freak you both you and your pet. Swirl keyboards and saxophone add some chaotic feel to Year Of The Rooster. The Gamblers Try Their Hand At International Diplomacy slows down to the end just to grow into Walk Around very smoothly. Even though the record seems like plain or simple, every little thing is thought-out and is here for a reason.
Lyrics — 7
Mike Wiebe sings in a dirty manner of lets spit all over the place and cuts words with an enthusiasm of a gang leader. The only exception is singing in Unicorn Shave Your Horn -- the voice that makes you shiver and your ears roll. But the lyrics are so funny and stupid (Pegasus, grow your horn/Shed your wings, be Unicorn/Come together be a donkey) that you can't resist listening to the end of the half-minute track. Other songs have hot topics (like Biz Love Sluts that explains you the relationship between the band and record labels) and stupid jokes about anything funny.
Overall Impression — 8
Talking about their music, Riverboat Gamblers promise you a punk-rock catharsis and they don't cheat. They managed to stuff 35-minute album with 14 tracks, all in such an intensive tempo that it seems like the situation is ready to get out of control and blow out your ear-drums any second. The album may very well make your summer soundtrack and multiply your happy vibes, just make sure you turn the stereo system on loud when you listen to it. If you like sing-alongs and your throat doesn't die after shouting three songs straight, that's your perfect karaoke album. The whole thing is just about entertainment, having fun and parting hard. So here you go, Riverboat Gamblers, To The Confusion Of Our Enemies -- you're invited abroad to join the ride.