Reviews The Riverboat Gamblers Smash/Grab EP

The Riverboat Gamblers

Smash/Grab EP

When The Riverboat Gamblers released their last full length, Underneath the Owl, many fans were put off by the cleaner production and poppier approach. Their newest EP, Smash/Grab, was a return to the raw sound and more aggressive song writing, but offers something different by blending in a bit of Garage-Rock.

The first of the 4-song EP is arguably the weakest track, “The Ol’ Smash and Grab.” It’s a fun song to rock out to, but it sounds messy and Mike Wiebe’s vocals are far from his best. It lacks the great vocal melodies from Wiebe that I’ve come to love about Riverboat. The following track, “Parasite Friends,” would have fit on Underneath the Owl, while “Maggie Lea” is a great garage-rock number reminiscent of The (International) Noise Conspiracy’s earlier albums. The final track on the record, “Anything But You,” is everything great about Riverboat. It takes that garage-rock influence and molds it to fit into their fast punk-rock sound. My only complaint is it’s way too short.

It’s certainly not the clean production people had a qualm with on the last record. However, it suffers a bit by having too much of a demo quality about it. Overall, the material is solid and each track is better than the last.

8.2 / 10Aaron H
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8.2 / 10

8.2 / 10

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