Swingin' Utters - Dead Flowers, Bottles, Bluegrass, and Bones (Cover Artwork)

Swingin' Utters

Swingin' Utters: Dead Flowers, Bottles, Bluegrass, and BonesDead Flowers, Bottles, Bluegrass, and Bones (2003)
Fat Wreck Chords

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:

Contributed by: moldymoldy
(others by this writer | submit your own)

In the scene today it seems that many bands are making songs that sing of heartbreak and sorrow but are emotionally empty. When I listen to these groups I can tell that the tears and Jr. High poetry are for show and money, rather than an expression of real emotion. But this does not apply to the l.
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In the scene today it seems that many bands are making songs that sing of heartbreak and sorrow but are emotionally empty. When I listen to these groups I can tell that the tears and Jr. High poetry are for show and money, rather than an expression of real emotion. But this does not apply to the latest offering from San Francisco's Swingin' Utters, the slower songs on Dead Flowers, Bottles, Bluegrass, and Bones tell stories of loss through death and relationship breakups from heart and are able to convey the pain that the singer feels.

Songs like All That I Can Give, Shadows and Lies, the Spike (bassist and Me First and the Gimme Gimmes vocal talent) sung If You Want Me To, and my personal favorite Lampshade are great, and what I think are the standout tracks on this album. Especially Lampshade, a piano driven song which I thought showcased this bands songwriting talents. But not to fear street punks this band hasn't slowed down it still has the fast paced punk anthems that made them famous. No Pariah is a thrashy number that kicks this album off in style and doesn't let the energy lag with songs like Leaves of Fate, My Closed Mind, and Elation all of which are sure to become circle pit anthems at their shows.

I think this band really stands up to their reputation in the street/Oi scene as one of the hardest working bands, they all work their asses off fish mongering, cinderblock housing and other blue collar wearing jobs when not on the road in order to support their families and this level of dedication shows in the music. I have only been a casual fan of them in the past content with the MP3s and comp tracks, but after listing to an entire album I want to pick up their back catalogue.



People who liked this also liked:
NOFX - The DeclineThe Clash - London CallingOperation Ivy - Operation IvySwingin' Utters - A Juvenile Product of the Working ClassThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!Dead to Me - Cuban BallerinaAgainst Me! - is Reinventing Axl RoseSwingin' Utters - Here, Under ProtestBad Religion - Stranger Than FictionDescendents - Milo Goes To College

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Dedricthere (June 23, 2010)

Love this fuckin' band.

Sliced-T (May 9, 2010)

Their early albums didn't fully grab me, but this one hits it out of the park!

Anonymous (March 28, 2004)

the utters and the souls are two of the best punk bands of today in my opinion. go ahead and disagree if you want, we all have different tastes. anyone else think koskis guitar solos are just nothing short of fucking amazing? im not talking about difficult or technical. theyre simple, but so good

Anonymous (January 15, 2004)

they are great nothing else to talk abot. either you got a good taste or ....

Anonymous (April 1, 2003)

I disagree. Average means middle-of-the-pack and while these guys and the Souls might not have the most distinctive sounds ever, they produce high quality music, raising them above average.

evilash (March 31, 2003)

This band is soooo average kinda like the bouncing souls. Lets see who disagrees

Anonymous (March 31, 2003)

"If You Want Me To" is incredible.


Vien (March 30, 2003)

"Promise To Distinction" was written by Darius Koski, which is pretty obvious, because the guy's family background origin is from Finland (I Think). That's where I think the Utters got all that crazy influences of folk/country/acoustic sound. "Juvinile Product" was a very good album too, because I thought it had alot of very good melodies mixed in with a fair share of Acoustic Driven songs, and of course plenty of good street punk. I thought that album was a huge leap from "Streets Of San Francisco".

Max Huber was a terrific songwriter. He wrote my two favorite songs on the Brazen Head ep, "Brazen Head" and "Twenty-Three". When I heard he left the Utters, I didn't the band would ever be the same. I still can't believe he's gone....

Anonymous (March 30, 2003)

hmm. i really want to hear this. i thought "juvenile product..." was amazing, but no one here has mentioned it. their next, 'five lessons learned' was real good but more experimental. the s/t album i was very very disappointed in. and huber was a really good songwriter. did he write 15th and T? thats their best song in my humble opinion. and who wrote 'promise to distinction' thats another classic.

Anonymous (March 30, 2003)

this is a relief from the axis of evil (simple plan, newfound glory, good charlotte respectively north korea, iraq, and whatever the 3rd country was).

No, its not as diverse as 5 lessons learned, but it resembles the swingin utters of the "streets of san francisco" days, which when they do it well, like said "streets..." album, they rip, but its hit or miss (the s/t). I thought this one was really good.

Vien (March 29, 2003)

I don't know, to me "Dead Flowers" was just straight forward stuff and not at all comparable or as diverse as "5 Lessons Learned". Not only did "5 Lessons" album have good old fashion street punk in it, but they used plenty of different exotic insruments like Brass Horns, Organs/Electric Pianos, and a freakin' Mandolin for god's sake! And you know what? It was damn good...So good, that the song "A Promise To Distinction" made me cry (Well not literally, but it's one my Favorite Utters Songs, and yes, it's a brilliant tune). That's what seperates the Utters from every other mediocre street punk band, they were experimental songwriters...They used and played differnt stuff no other regular punk band can dare do and make it even sound decent. Not to mention, Koski's guitar work and solos were as talented as ever.

One of the other main down sides to the new album was that Max Huber left, which sucks because he was a great contrubuter to the Utter's songwriting. If you notice, just about half the songs on "5 Lessons Learned" were written by Huber alone, not to mention most of those were my favorite songs.

Lyrically, "Dead Flowers" was ok, I think bonnel sounded great, but overall...everything else just didn't reach up to my expectations. Quite mediocre if you ask me, but again that's just what I think. These guys are more capable that this...

Fuzzy (March 29, 2003)

I just got this album in the mail yesterday, and I think it's got everything that made me love the Utters. Good street punk (ala Juvenile Product), along with their detours into folk/country/traditional music. I think it's pretty cool that they thank Max in the liner notes. Maybe he'll be back someday, but for right now, I think they are doing fine without him. I am seeing them tommorow in Cleveland, I just wonder if they are going to rock out Accordian style there. I've been waiting 6 years since I was 15 to see them. I can't wait.

Vien (March 28, 2003)

Fuck yeah, Filthy Thieving Bastards know how to rock it Unplugged!!

Anonymous (March 28, 2003)

If ye be wantin' some good old fashioned Utters-style acoustic songs: Filthy Thievin' Bastards are right up your alley... and up yor arse! har har har..

-El Vaquero

Anonymous (March 28, 2003)

Hey Pope_Schlomo on April 8th, ya might be eatin' your words.

Vien (March 28, 2003)

I'm Sorry, but this is just got to be one of my least favorite Swingin' Utters albums. After listening to the S/T and thier split w/Youth Brigade albums, I was expecting alot more creative slow tempo/acoustic driven songs that made me loved this band so much, but instead I found most of it to be just regular simple street punk. It's just me, but I think the Utters are way more capable songwriters than this. I miss Max Huber....

Anonymous (March 28, 2003)

Very good review. Dedicated bands deserve your money.

Anonymous (March 28, 2003)

yes, and all bands that right about heartbreak and sorrow are frauds and sellouts. dumbass.

Anonymous (March 28, 2003)

i just can't get into this band...

TheOneTrueBill (March 28, 2003)

i love this band, love this record, and i'm seeing 'em tomorrow at the fireside

there's a really big smile on my face right now

Anonymous (March 28, 2003)

Solid, not great, not bad...i think it could've benefitted from a bit more of the utters country/folk flava...Pretty straight forward street punk...-bigjerk

tubbyWSOU (March 28, 2003)

woah, idk about best fat wreck chord of 2003, you are totally forgetting new NOFX, Lagwagon, MFAGG, Mad Caddies, etc. fat is churning them out this year.

Anonymous (March 28, 2003)

amazing amazing album... anyone else think that "Dead Flowers, Bottles, Bluegrass, and Bones" sounds alot like "The Broad Majestic Shannon" by the Pogues?

pope_schlomo (March 28, 2003)

i love this album so FUCKING much. as much as "five lessons learned". i thought the S/T album was disppointing but the utters came back and beat the shit out of my ears. next sunday swingin utters....beware.

(i don't care if it's too early, best FAT album of 2003)

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