This third release from ¡Vamanos! presents somewhat of a musical sidestep for the New York based noise making duo. On their first two releases, they delighted in taking blues and garage rock sounds into the most distorted corners of their musical imaginations. On this third release – a full three years on from the thrilling 45rpm 10” – Alex Knoche (gtr/vox) and Tyler Bower (drums) manage to be a bit more melodic without actually being that melodic…if that makes sense. Having worked their distorted blues to almost breaking point, 2019’s ‘Streetwalker’ EP applies a huge amount of grit to a set of tunes that draw from a few different influences than before, often delivering some of the fastest, loudest garage/punk ‘n’ roll sounds ever.
Taking the grubbiness of classic Mudhoney and injected it with the spirit of old school punk and a pinch of early Motorhead, German punk ‘n’ roll trio The Gents whip up a speed driven storm on their 2022 EP ‘Chop The Rot’. Although speed is often the key to bringing a genuine excitement to their material, also a great pleasure to be had when hearing the band approaching most of their work at full volume. This results in the kind of release that would appeal to a broad spectrum of punk fans.
At the time of this release, it may well have been fifteen years since Electric Frankenstein gave the world a full length album of self-penned, brand new material, but the band have kept themselves more than busy. In that time, they’ve released a bunch of singles (including an excellent cover of Alice Cooper’s ‘Under My Wheels’) and also lent their talents to a plethora of split releases, including discs shared with The Hip Priests, Kung Fu Killers and The Bordells. Making it somewhat easier to catch up with their sporadic recording style, a lot of singles and EP tracks have also been reissued on EF full length comps by Ghost Highway Records, further helping to maintain the band’s presence.
The debut EP from Killer Hearts provided a quick jolt of retro brilliance back in 2019. Taking the trashiness of the New York Dolls debut, the sheer drive of Dictators’ proto punk noise and a bit of extra oomph, its four songs were a fast and sweaty treat. The end mix made the lead guitars seem razor sharp, and the way the vocals seemed half buried in noise often made it hard to pick out the finer points of any lyrical concerns, but all things considered it was a great tribute to the world of 1970s proto-punks and hardened Stooges wannabes.
It may come some nine years after The Riverboat Gamblers’ last full length album, and a lengthy five years since the release of their last 7” single, but this comeback disc from the Texan punks is everything fans could hope for. Not only does it capture the band combating a selection of great riffs at full pelt, but it comprises material that even a non-fan would recognise a mile off. It’s a win-win on all fronts.
As more than hinted at by the title, this release features the Gamblers turning their hands to covers by the legendary Ramones and the just as legendary Motorhead. Two bands that seem quite different, and yet, are great bedfellows due to their love of speed and simple, direct riffs.