Riverboat Gamblers

The Riverboat Gamblers: Ready to smash and grab.
Gary Copeland
The Riverboat Gamblers: Ready to smash and grab.

This year marks a full decade since the Riverboat Gamblers exploded out of Denton, impressing punk fans statewide in a mad flurry of flailing limbs, bitchin' barre chords and speed, glorious speed. In a way, it's impressive the Gamblers have lasted this long — when we were still working for the Austin Chronicle, we once accompanied singer Mike Wiebe to a local chiropractor to tote up all the dings several years of stage-diving, rafter-climbing and microphone-swinging had exacted. It wasn't pretty. But then again, the Gamblers have been road dogs and punk lifers since day one, steadily honing their rock and roll craft in countless no-name dives coast to coast, eventually graduating to Warped Tour slots and headlining tours of slightly better (and bigger) dives like Fitzgerald's. After a flirtation with a poppier shade of punk on 2009's Underneath the Owl, which yielded unexpected New Wave dividends (and a cool video) on "Robots Will Break Your Heart," the band is back in fine loud-fast-rules form on last month's extremely brief Paper + Plastik EP Smash/Grab.

 
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