RIVERBOAT GAMBLERS - “Underneath the Owl”

A somewhat old but still awesome album by the Texas punk rockers

Yes, this album isn’t really that new. But on the other hand the Bulgarian internet is not overflowing with reviews or any kind of articles about Riverboat Gamblers, so why not? No one reads this blog anyway, he-he…

The band surprisingly isn’t that well known here, considering they are huge in the USA – they do big profile tours with Rancid, The Offspring and Rise Against, participating in Wrapped Tour, receiving press praise from the likes of Rolling Stone and what not. And we all know we’re supposed to shit ourselves when they fart over there!

Listening to the band’s fifth album “Underneath the Owl” I can figure why they are so big – well, they’re good. Songs like opener “Dissdissdisskisskisskiss” remind me of the same insane energy Green Day’s “Dookie” had and from there on the album shows even more variation and songwriting skills. Tracks like the first single “A Choppy, Yet Sincere Apology” should be played 24/7 on all self respecting rock radio stations.

Besides a sense of humor and superb skills in playing the vibraphone in songs like “Robots May Break Your Heart”, Riverboat Gamblers also demonstrate the ability to create memorable songs with melodies that get stuck in your head. The choruses of songs like “The Tearjerker” (slow and dramatic) and “Keep Me from Drinking” (full of joy and alcohol) are bound to stick in your head for days. And in the end that is the point of good rock music, isn’t it.

You aren’t going to be disappointed if you expect some cool American punk rock from this album. Actually the variation “Underneath the Owl” provides could surpass your expectations by far. Here you can find everything – from fast songs, through experimental and strange ones, to honestly ballad-like sounding tracks – a lot of different things in one place that some other bands would base their whole careers on.

Verdict: 5.5 / 6

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