Riverboat Gamblers -To the Confusion of Our Enemies
Release Date: 4.25.06
When you’ve got a great rock record on your hands, especially with all the fire and fury inherent in the punk denomination, miraculous things can happen… time can change. Take the seven seconds of silence between tracks for instance, they transform into a seemingly everlasting bummer… a borderline torturous respite. Don’t let it stop!!! I’m almost compelled to holler such things in the down-time between songs as I headbang to the Riverboat Gamblers’ new record: To the Confusion of Our Enemies. A serious rock-out thrill, the Gamblers have scrupulously adhered to the formula of take your breath away fanfare and ended up with what I would describe as a damn good time of a record. The man dubbed by the band as Rookie Sensation Mike Wiebe vocally commands this power ensemble like an army general. For those who find the voices of Against Me! or Strike Anywhere rebarbative, Wiebe’s style should come as a relief. He’s easy on the ears, yet flaunts enough rugged edge to permit comparison to the bands mentioned in the sentence prior. The various hues of aggressive rock that color each song reveal that the Gamblers seem to have constant ambitions of gang-style sing-alongs, occasional epiphanies of arena-rock (end of “The Gamblers Try Their Hand…), and an inkling to rock old-school style (bridges in “The Curse of the Ivory Coast" and "Year of the Rooster"). The production is contained to an extent, but fitting for a straight-forward sound that flirts with the demons of punk rock. Truthfully I have few, if any complaints worth voicing. With a sound that would have fit perfectly between Against Me! and Alkaline Trio on their recent stint, Riverboat Gamblers are an energetic joy ride, and I would imagine, and have read, that the live component is where the magic really lies. Fun, humorous, a serious rush, a kick in the nads, surprisingly accessible - most everything I like in a punk influenced rock record; To the Confusion of Our Enemies is 101% the essence of solidity. While this record might be “to the confusion” of the Gamblers’ enemies, it will more so be to the satisfaction of their fans.
P.S. “Unicorn Shave Your Horn”, an interlude from the soul, is unquestionably my song of the year (you have to hear it to understand; hysterical).
definitely going to have to catch these guys this summer, i don't know about claims of arena rock but its certainly enjoyable. its funny that you would pit the vocalist against strike anywhere's and against me!'s, i would put them in the same category and yeah, on a tour together. maybe some rise against? haha anyway. i like it :)
it's almost like The AKA's if they were less angry/dissatisfied with the world and less dancy.