When the Riverboat Gamblers released Something to Crow About in 2003, they were a bunch of crazies from Texas playing chicken-fried street punk; their MO was self-abuse, volatility and moving too fast for the hangover to catch up. To the Confusion of Our Enemies is another open-throttle, ruckus-raising thrill, but the songwriting is sharper you can actually understand what Mike Wiebe is saying, and it turns out he's sick of being shit on. Openers "True Crime" and "Don't Bury Me ... I'm Still Not Dead" pause just long enough to note that the world still doesn't care about losers and the addicted, then launch into more electrified mantras for the left behind. "To all my friends who never had a chance," goes the latter by way of tribute. They don't write songs about girls, not really, and the shouty exasperation of "The Gamblers Try Their Hand at International Diplomacy" is about it for political sentiment. No, Confusion of Our Enemies is just tough-skinned punk revivalism with a nothing-to-lose streak that's addictive. "I know that nothing's entitled to me," Wiebe sings in "On Again/Off Again." "I don't care/Don't give a fuck/I'll be around/I'll be waiting." Watch your backs, bigwigs.
Johnny Loftus is the music editor of Metro Times. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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