SWINGIN' UTTERS - Poorly Formed

Swingin' Utters - Poorly Formed

14 songs
29:18 minutes
***** ***
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It wouldn’t be wrong to call the Swingin’ Utters from California a punk rock legend. Between 1987 and 2003 they released six albums, the last four of them even on the renowned label Fat Wreck. The band split up for nearly eight years before getting back together in 2010. Poorly Formed is already their second album since their comeback, coming two years after Here Under Protest.

The five musicians don’t hide the fact that Poorly Formed is their smoothest record so far. When a band has been active as long as they have been, it’s naturally hard to compare them with anyone else. It would probably make more sense to look for young bands that sound like the Swingin’ Utters. Nonetheless I will try to come up with comparisons in The Generators, US Bombs and Leatherface. It’s obvious when listening to the Swingin’ Utters that these are no newcomers and that they have been influenced clearly by the pioneers of the US punk movement. The songs are rarely raw, but still they manage to come up with melodic and catchy songs that are beyond any commercial motives. The tracks are all quite short and always limit themselves to the essential. This is what makes the songs (that are never longer than 2:40) so charming. The Swingin’ Utters don’t confine themselves to the punk genre. The title track is a great indie rock song that reminds me of the early Pixies. Similar to Bob Wayne (ex-US Bombs), they also like country music which can be heard on I’m A Little Big Country.

The Swingin’ Utters have managed to create melodic punk rock that doesn’t just aim at a teenage audience. If you are not afraid of occasional harder moments, Poorly Formed will be a great way to spend an entertaining half hour.

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