Virginia rockers the Candy Snatchers surged onto the ‘90s punk scene and stripped their music down to its core, taking out all the platitudes and ignoring the trends and focusing on creating raw, energetic rock that lauded drinking more than girls and sex more than love. Texans the Riverboat Gamblers were initially inspired by the Candy Snatchers’ disdain for trendy scenes, and followed the same path, churning out distorted, amped-up anti-hymns that didn’t shoot for musical perfection, but also didn’t need to. Their chaotic chords perfectly capture the spirit of rebellion and angst.
Because the band skips the Snatchers’ most gruesome onstage antics—rolling in broken glass, setting their equipment on fire—they lack the same stage show that earned their heroes many a Maximum Rocknroll cover, but that’s not to say the Gamblers play stagnant, boring sets. Their hapless mix of reckless ‘60s garage and finger-blistering, pounding punk keeps the energy high and keeps the band jiggling erratically throughout their shows. You won’t find them singing songs about girls, broken hearts or overbearing stepfathers—instead, they bleat out anthems about drinking and gambling that are a direct challenge to the crappy emo bands currently plaguing airwaves and local venues. (Phil Fuller)
The Riverboat Gamblers with the Arrivals, Toys That Kill and Dan Padilla at the 246 Gallery, 246 W. 2nd St., Pomona. Sun., 5:30 p.m. $6. All ages.