Swingin' Utters

Poorly Formed

Written by: PP on 10/03/2013 01:46:19

Few bands embody the classic Fat Wreck Chords punk rock sound as well as Swingin' Utters do. Throughout the 90s they came to define the label's So-Cal style alongside so many other similar sounding bands, and as such it's no surprise that on their eighth album "Poorly Formed", they continue to do what Swingin' Utters do best: sounding like a brighter version of Bad Religion and a darker version of Social D. Except this time in a slightly rawer form than on "Here, Under Protest" two years ago.

Basically, Swingin' Utters boil down punk rock to its very basic ingredients: simplistic three chord progressions, raw and unclean vocals, and catchy melodies to top off the mix. On a few occasions, like on "I'm A Little Bit Country", the band ventures slightly outside of their comfort zone into country-tinged punk rock, but honestly, we're never really that far away from the Bad Religion/Social D/Descendents worship that Swingin' Utters have engaged in for the past 2 decades. For the fans, this is a relief, but at the same time "Poorly Formed" is a weak album. The melodies are a far cry from their glory days, and the songs are easily forgettable, aside from a couple of obvious highlight tracks.

In many ways, "Poorly Formed" feels like Swingin' Utters on autopilot. The passion and the knack for writing a great melody out of very simple elements don't seem to be there in the same extent as it was in the past. Sure, "A Walk With The Postman" is as classic Swingin' Utters as it comes, but when half of the album sounds, if not outright anonymous, then at least forgettable and unimpressionable, I have to admit that I'm disappointed even as a longtime Fat Wreck fan used to hearing the same records over and over again year after year. "Poorly Formed" isn't necessarily as its title suggests, it' just not comparable to the band's discography in a positive light.

Download: Brains, Pour Beans, Temporary Contemporary, A Walk With The Postman
For the fans of: Bad Religion, Social Distortion, Descendents, Dead To Me
Listen: Facebook

Release date 19.02.2013
Fat Wreck Chords

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