So...Thanks to Long Island’s band Gamblers, the band put their own distinct stamp on a special Halloween single featuring cover versions of The Ramones’ classic “Pet Sematary” and Bobby Pickett’s ‘60s holiday staple “Monster Mash.” Both tunes exemplify the band’s ability to uproot their influences and give them a sonic makeover and slyly subvert our established definitions of indie rock. Play from Soundcloud below.
The tracks also mark the recording debut with longtime friend of the band, Billy Rymer (Dillinger Escape Plan) on drums. “Pet Sematary” pays homage to the godfathers of Gamblers’ NYC punk lineage, while “Monster Mash” imagines Mark Ronson playing in a ‘50s rock and roll style. The band released these tracks to “tide fans over between the 2018 release of their Corinthian Order EP and the early 2020 release of the new album.”
The band and their music has been described as:
Bandleader/producer Michael McManus cut his teeth touring with DIY alt-rock bands in high school. In college, he spent practically every waking minute that he wasn't in class or sleeping holed up in his dorm room crafting the unique hip hop production style that paved the way for collaborations with Meek Mill, Stalley and Heems, as well as musical contributions to Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown and Viceland's Gaycation. With Gamblers, McManus and fellow in-house studio rat Gary O’Keefe marry the beatmaking sensibility of hip hop to the songcraft and jamming-in-a-room m.o. of a rock band.
And check this out: McManus grew up working in his family’s business Peter McManus Cafe (one of NYC’s oldest and most storied bars and a film set for Saturday Night Live, Broad City, and Seinfeld). Watching the constant flow of life from a young age was crucial in shaping the acutely observant lyrical outlook McManus brings to the music. With one ear to the pulse of Long Island's debris-strewn cultural landscape and the other focused finding the right words for heady meditations on the human condition, McManus tucks his often cutting insights into deceptively simple and innocuous-sounding wordplay. The band’s sunny hooks may evoke The Beach Boys, but much darker things tend to wash up on the south shore. Small World harbors some of those things, even in its brightest moments as addiction, stress, despair, corruption and violence lurk in the shadows between the lines.