Monday, April 19, 2010


Spanish Gamble
It’s All Coming Down
Paper + Plastick/No Idea

I love Spanish Gamble’s press release: “We’ve all been at the end of our ropes before. That precarious tipping point where you’re not sure whether everything’s going to work itself out, or whether you’re going to end up as a deranged 30-something basement screamer chewing on the business end of a broken bottle.”

In 2006, then known as Dirty Money, Spanish Gamble packed up and left the deserts of New Mexico, heading for Gainesville, Florida – the Mecca of DIY punk rock – like beards to a flannel shirt. It’s All Coming Down is their first release as Spanish Gamble.

At their best, Spanish Gamble sound a LOT like Hot Water Music. Track eight "Can I Live?" is one of my favourites and it sounds like a full-blown Hot Water Music b-side. In parts, Spanish Gamble sound like a band in transit. Still finding their footing in Planet Punk. Their own signature sound.

“And I don’t know what keeps me going anymore. There must be something that I’m missing. Is it you?”

The production’s got a DIY sound (especially following the new Flatliners and Leatherface) that a lot of punk fans prefer. But often, the drums (snare and kick especially) don’t hit hard enough, the vocals don’t pack that breathy, lightning bolt presence and the songs don’t hit your upper spine the way they should.

For fans of Hot Water Music, Off With Their Heads, American Steel and, say, Dear Landlord, It’s All Coming Down’s a fun melodic punk-rock trip with jaded, gravelly narration – this time courtesy of oblivion-chasing Colin Shane. There are a lot of highlights and fans of the genre will love it like a nice piece of flannel, but there’s often something missing: that tight, consistent spark that makes their idols so damn idolisable.

Right now, Spanish Gamble are tearing their way across America. Then it’s on to Europe. By the end of the year, they’ll have a few more stories to tell, Shane will have developed his own, unique voice and I’m sure we’ll hear all about it. I bet their live show’s intense already – especially in a basement.

Oh yeah, the artwork, by Craig Horky, is awesome!
More Craig Horky.

Spanish Gamble on MySpace
Paper + Plastick
No Idea Records

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