RIVERBOAT GAMBLERS: Self-titled: LP

I am a passionate collector of things. A completest, really. One thing I really obsess about is collecting all of my favorite bands’ albums on vinyl. With some it’s easy, and some a little more problematic. The worst is when there are some that were only released on CD. It drives me insane. Sure, I buy the CDs and love the band all the same, but something burns deep down inside when I am unable to have a complete set of wax to flip through and listen to. It’s no secret that I love the Riverboat Gamblers. I have been into them since their second album and a rabid fan since their third. It has always gnawed at me that their self-titled debut was not available on vinyl. Until now, that is. The fine folks at Recorded Messages (the same label who thankfully did the same thing for the Gamblers’ Backsides rarities compilation last year) seem to have the same completist attitude that I have. Finally, I can put the needle down on the Gamblers’ first balls-out punk rock’n’roll blast. The songs still kick ass and sound as good as they did back when they came out. The band has evolved an awful lot since then, but the constant is that they are always good. The packaging has improved tenfold, with amazingly creepy cover art and crystalline clear vinyl. When I slid this into my collection, an empty space in my heart was filled. G.F.F.G.

 –ty (Recorded Messages, recorded-messages.com)