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Riverboat Gamblers
To The Confusion Of Our Enemies
Volcom Entertainment
www.theriverboatgamblers.com


Lyrics have always played an important role in music, sometimes they're the main act and sometimes they're simply the appetizer. There have been bands thats music has enticed me to read their lyrics after listening to their album. But never before had I started off my introduction to a new band by reading their booklet. For reasons beyond my control (my computer breaking down), I glanced through the booklet in the new album by the Riverboat Gamblers and was impressed.

Now, if you looked at their album artwork you would probably think a couple things about the music: it's about politics and it's angry... and rightfully so, with the fist in the air and the faceless army. However if you dig a little deeper you would find that other than one song "The Gamblers Try Their Hand At International Diplomacy," the rest of the album is emotional, heartfelt, and insightful. Set to the music of a pop-punk sound reminiscent of the early years of New Found Glory (back when they had the A), "Don't Bury Me…I'm Still Not Dead" tells the story of kids who feel like they don't fit in. Perhaps this song is meant to inspire those same kids that they are singing about. "Biz Love Sluts" is much faster; the tempo is so quick it's almost hard to keep up. The guitar drops some from the last song pushing it into a little more of a rock genre. This time they discuss the music business and the ongoing struggle between what the bands want and what the companies want. There's something about this song that takes me back to the 1970's and the Rocky Horror Picture Show. I don't know why. "On Again Off Again" takes the music in two different ways. The first is harder; the guitar simplifies and goes lower like that of fellow alternative bands A Change Of Pace or Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. Second, the lyrics tackle the hardships of those in our society that aren't able to afford proper health care. A random topic for a punk band, yes, but still one that makes you really listen. "The Curse Of The Ivory Coast" is probably my favorite. The story this time is of a sailor, possibly a pirate, but we'll never know. It feels as though they're telling us of his last moments alive. Again the guitar seems to simplify itself although this time it's not as hard. With the added background singers or screamers (I guess you could call them), this song feels like an even slightly different genre from the others. The heavy attention on the drums and the screaming lead more of a hardcore, kind of Rise Against sound.

Read the lyrics for yourself, it's pretty much poetry set to head-banging, mosh-pitting, alternative music. If you concentrate on what they're saying, you won't even realize yourself moving to the music. Normally we focus on the music, but sometimes it's refreshing to have it the other way around.

-Rachel Fredrickson

Track Listing:
1. True Crime
2. Don't Bury Me…I'm Still Not Dead
3. Biz Loves Sluts
4. The Song We Used To Call "Wasting Time"
5. On Again Off Again
6. The Gamblers Try Their Hand At Internationl Diplomacy
7. Walk Around Me
8. Unicorn Shave Your Horn
9. The Art Or Getting F***ed
10. Year Of The Rooster
11. The Curse Of The Ivory Coast
12. Rent Is Due
13. Uh Oh!
14. Black Nothing Of A Cat


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Mike Doughty



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