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Bluff City

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Reseña de álbum

Counting among its ranks two-thirds of Memphis' premier sleaze rockers the Oblivians, the Compulsive Gamblers share much of that band's bar-bred loose swagger and raw energy. However, whereas the Oblivians eagerly aligned themselves with outfits like 68 Comeback and that group's allegiance to musical forefathers like Charlie Feathers and Elvis Presley, the Compulsive Gamblers play their cards a little lower and reveal a much more pronounced influence by the Rolling Stones and the Animals. The result is an album of songs that are exceptionally strong, catchy, and well-played, a very "grown up" album, in fact. Perhaps the shift was inevitable, or perhaps the boys felt a sense of freedom to write more mature, emotionally charged songs since casting aside their Ramones-esque surname. Whatever the reason, the Compulsive Gamblers' sophomore release, Bluff City, is a genuinely moving effort by any standard. Lively and almost cartoonish by its close, "Pepper Spray Boogie" more than lives up to its title, as it storms by in a flurry of Jerry Lee Lewis-style piano bashing and hyperactive string bends worthy of Chuck Berry himself. With its howling organs, slinky guitars, and aching vocals, "One Eyed Girl" calls to mind the Doors (if they'd spent more time brawling in seedy juke joints or listening to Eric Burdon records). The first half of Bluff City's raucous, ragged rock could probably pass for a lost Oblivians record, which is fine, but things really come together for the second half of the album. The back half of the album finds the boys finally being brave enough to strip away their protective layers of fuzz and screamy vocals in favor of cleanly played, truly timeless anthems for the broken-hearted. Easily the most beautiful song ever recorded by anyone who ever called himself an Oblivian, "I Don't Want to Laugh at You" is a surprisingly sweet love story with clear, beautifully twangy guitars and gorgeous vocals that call to mind someone like Grant Lee Buffalo or Roy Orbison at times (minus any sort of pretentiousness such comparisons might imply). "New Romance" is just as stunning, but with the lilting vocals replaced by more straightforward but just as moving whispery sing-speak. "You Don't Want Me" is oozing with the qualities that make a song like "Sway" so great, while "Don't Come Looking for Me Now" abandons the slow-dance balladry of the previous songs in favor of country flair. And "Trouble"? Whoo-wee! It plays like a dark, rainy street — simply sultry and well worth the price of admission on its own. The album-closer "Don't Haunt Me" sounds like a Them Wranch outtake, and that's a high compliment. With an appealing mix of dirty Gibson Bros./Cheater Slicks-style barroom foot-stompers and lonely, middle-of-the-night tearjerkers, Bluff City is probably the strongest and most easily approachable Compulsive Gamblers (or Oblivians) album, making it both a must-have for fans and the perfect introduction for the uninitiated. Pass the whiskey (and the tissues). ~ Karen E. Graves, Rovi


Se formó en: 1990 en Memphis, TN

Género: Rock

Años de actividad: '90s, '00s

Folding together equal portions of greasy '50s pop, Memphis-style rhythm & blues, and a punk rocker's sense of casual experimentation and musical cross breeding, the Compulsive Gamblers were at the forefront of the Memphis roots punk scene, alongside such bands as the Gibson Bros. and '68 Comeback, creating a sound that was at once sinister, comical, and full of potent groove. The Compulsive Gamblers were formed in Memphis, TN, in 1990 by Greg Cartwright and Jack Yarber, two friends who had played...
Biografía completa
Bluff City, Compulsive Gamblers
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