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Here, Under Protest

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Album Review

After over 20 years together, Swingin’ Utters have become more of a punk institution than a band. As their style has shifted from classic punk revival to a more roots rock-oriented sound, their albums have felt increasingly like visits from old, dear friends, showing up every once in a while a little older and more comfortable with who they are, but at their core, they’re still the same bunch of guys you’ve known all along. This sentiment continues to ring true on their seventh album, Here, Under Protest. The album paints a picture of a band that’s older and wiser, delivering sage advice from the punk trenches to a younger generation that’s still trying to find their way in this world. In “Time on My Own,” Darius Koski delivers the wistful warning, “All of my time, alone/Is so precious and pleasant/Even when it’s not well spent/There’s all this time to own/But I waste it like it’s s**t/Take it for granted and forget,” urging us all to remember to take advantage of the time we have. These kinds of ideas give the album a kind of “listen up, kiddo” feeling, as if you’re sitting at a bar with the old guard soaking up the wisdom as they tell stories amongst themselves. What’s amazing is the whole thing comes off without feeling heavy-handed or overly sentimental. The main goal here, after all, is rock & roll, and no matter how much they’ve changed over the years, that’s one thing that Swingin’ Utters have never lost sight of.

Customer Reviews

Maturity

While there will be many complaints about SU losing their edge (as many punk bands have been accused of in the past; The Clash being the classic example) and not the pure punk of their fist two albums, at some point a band can either sit still and in the words of the late great Joe Strummer "not have a reason to exist anymore" or move on and mature. The SU's latest release follows the latter with carefully crafted songs that are no less relevant than albums of the past.

There are still the fist pumping chants along with some very thoughtful melodies (Bent Collector of 1,000 Limbs, Time On My Own, a song that calls upon The Smoking Popes) that echo drunken nights, lost friends and broken hearts. There still remains the working class spirit that prevails in their writing that hearkens back to English Oi!, a forgotten punk rock sub-genre, almost as if there is a struggle to still play that voice in today's society; if it will be heard or if it even matters, hence the probable motive for the album title. Perhaps it will find a new audience along with the old, just as it did with "The Streets of San Francisco" and the rest of the 90's punk revival.

Great to hear SU again!

Swinin Utters are great and their new album doesn't disappoint! If you like good ol' punk rock, then listen to this.

Sounds great

I have not been able to buy the album yet because of lack of funds, but I listened to the previews, and it sounds great so far. It's good to hear Jack's voice again on a new song. "Effortless Amnesiac" sounds like one of the better songs on the album though they all sound great. I can't wait until I get some money.

Biography

Formed: 1987 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the more traditional-sounding of California's punk revival bands, Swingin' Utters formed in the late '80s around a first-name-only lineup of vocalist Johnny, guitarists Max and Darius, bassist Kevin, and drummer Greg. Originally based in Santa Cruz, these street punks later moved to San Francisco and recorded for several different labels, including Side One, IFA Records, and New Red Archives. The group first released 1992's Scared as Johnny Peebucks & the Swingin' Utters, but things really...
Full Bio
Here, Under Protest, Swingin' Utters
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