Swingin’ Utters are a band that have always remained in the periphery. I couldn’t tell you why, but despite hearing the name a fair few times, and the band’s long career, I have never once checked them out. Until this week, when I received their latest album ’Poorly Formed’.
For those that aren’t aware of the band, they formed in California in 1987 and they broke up in 2003. After a seven year hiatus, they got back together in 2010 to the delight of punk fans everywhere. Since then we have had an EP and a full length. That brings us just about up to date I believe.
‘Poorly Formed’ is an expertly crafted record that shows a band who clearly know how to write good songs, and how to make another Fat Wreck Chords punk record stand out in 2013. Opening up with ’Librarians Are Hiding Something’, a lightening fast track that sets the tone perfectly. There’s a certain melody to the speed of the song and it’s a common theme throughout ’Poorly Formed’.
Most of the tracks here are in a similar vein, fast, melodic punk. However, there are always a few exceptions to the rule, ’I’m A Little Bit Country’ is an interesting track; it certainly breaks up the record. It’s a sort of Pogues-esque little number and despite feeling a little hokey on first listen I now find myself enjoying it a little more every time.
Stand out tracks for me include the blistering ’Temporary Contemporary’, the Velvet Underground inspired ’Brains’, which while it remains at a slower pace than some songs, it really stands out as one of the most diverse tracks on the album. Chilled out album closer ’Sevita Sing’ brings a nice close to the record.
Overall Swingin’ Utters have crafted a decent record with ‘Poorly Formed’. To some it’s going to to seem a little samey, and it certainly isn’t anything new that we haven’t heard before, however there is certainly enough diversity to keep it interesting. What the band do, they do well, and the record is a fun listen. I’ll more than likely be listening to it more when the sun comes out.
Swingin’ Utters have always been a name I’ve heard thrown about, it’s taken me 24 years to hear them, and to be honest I’m glad that I have. ’Poorly Formed’ is a good punk record, with some moments that switch up the tempo and style to keep it interesting. I’d recommend giving it a go; that’s to both fans of the band and to those who haven’t heard them before too.
‘Poorly Formed’ by Swingin’ Utters is out now on Fat Wreck Chords.
Words by Ryan Clayton (@clayton_ryan)