The Riverboat Gamblers latest is Smash/Grab, a four song EP that is their debut for Paper + Plastick Records. The Gamblers have been around for quite a while, yet this is the first time that I’ve ever listened to one of their releases (I did see them live once when they played a show at the Green Door with the Street Dogs, The Briefs, and Throw Rag, and man what a show that was!).
The four songs on Smash/Grab all have great intensity and the almost low fi production gives the EP a nearly live feel to it. The band’s style of garage punk rock comes through on this record, but one can also tell than this is a transition piece, showing their ability to craft some very catchy rock ‘n’ roll songs. The EP’s standout moment is the incredible “Parasite Friend,” and extremely poppy number that reminds me of the great garage rock of the 1960s.
The band that keeps coming to mind when I listened to Smash/Grab is The Weaklings who were this completely killer garage punk band in the late ‘90s. In a lot of ways I think that the Riverboat Gamblers have taken up the mantle that The Weaklings had carried and have run with it. This is truly great stuff!