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STAND-ALONE SOUNDS

Riverboat Gamblers ready the first in new series of singles

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Sometimes a single is just a single: That’s the basic premise behind an upcoming project by the Texas-bred punk band Riverboat Gamblers.

“We wanted to celebrate songs that aren’t being placed within the narrative arc of an EP or LP,” explains singer Mike Wiebe. “When you write a full-length, you really have to think about how each song is going to affect the vibe of the whole project, and we try to be clear about what we want in an album when writing. It’s nice to say [‘Screw that’] when doing a single.”

“Dead Roach,” paired with a cover of “Sound on Sound” (originally done by the Texas hardcore band Big Boys), will arrive Dec. 2 as the first in a series of Riverboat Gamblers singles, with subsequent singles to be released every few months or so, according to Wiebe.

Recorded with Stuart Sikes at Big Orange in Austin, “Dead Roach”/“Sound on Sound” will be available via the End Sounds label as a seven-inch vinyl single and also as a digital download. A limited-edition blue-vinyl edition of this single can be had by purchasing with the software-based online payment system Bitcoin.

“It’s new, it’s kind of scary and confusing, and I barely understand it, but we move forward into a new future,” Wiebe says, referring to the Bitcoin aspect of “Dead Roach”/“Sound on Sound.” “I like being part of something bold that hasn’t been done before. Bitcoin is a universal currency, and we wanted to connect with just the idea of something global that has no national boundary.”

The remaining singles for this series are in the works, says Wiebe, and the band’s plans include “recording in different spots and working with different people.”

“Once we have a feel for where we want to take a song or a direction,” he adds, “we can really enhance it by planning where to record, who to work with and what to ingest that day. I want to keep some of the upcoming [song choices] a surprise, but expect us to explore our regional influences.”

— By Chris M. Junior