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

Swingin' Utters

Dead Flowers, Bottles, Bluegrass, and Bones (2003)

Fat Wreck Chords

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.