Me, in my room: “Hey man, that sounds like Rookie Sensation Mike Wiebe!”
Daryl, in his: “Yeah.”
Me: “This isn’t the new Gamblers record.”
Daryl: “No, Ghost Knife.”
Me: “It’s not what I was expecting. Didn’t they dress up as Juggalos for a Fest?”
Three weeks later, we flipped to as who’d review it. It was sitting on the CD player. Expectations can be corrosive agents. Musically, they can cauterize ears. But with dudes like Weibe and Ben Snakepit and Severed Head Of Chris, I just take the shower in their sprinkler of songs and let it wash over me before I open my yob. After several listens—largely steered by Wiebe’s voice and lyrics, this is a straight-up indie pop record made by straight-up punk rockers. And I really like it. See, I’m a fan of the entire Gamblers catalog. I like it when they staple the crowd’s collective nuts and vags to their foreheads, but I also think that Wiebe’s one of the best songwriters and lyricists in our corner of the world, so I also enjoy the slower stuff… because I like reading and meaning. Kill Shelter, Yes! is slower, more lush stuff. There’s a song sung from a cat’s perspective (or is that purr-spective?). The record kept me thinking that if Joe Meno novels if they were set to music. Creative, detailed, kind, paced. My only small “Huh?” is that the graphic design’s confusing. It’s all Tiki and fancy Polynesian drinks that have little bearing on the tone of the record, but the songs aren’t listed in order and some of the lyrics are chopped off. “Hey Man, who stuck their Antioch Arrow/Built To Spill/Modest Mouse into my punk with a dirty finger? Ghost Knife.” I’m going to keep this one spinning. Learn some new shit.
–todd (End Sounds)