Written by: Andrea Janov, CC2K Music Editor
I am not sure why, but I never really got into Swingin’ Utters. I’m sure they are pop punk represented on all the comps that I used to buy back in the day. So with that said, I cannot talk with any authority about their history of releases and how their latest, Poorly Formed stacks up. I can only take it as a stand-alone album that is super enjoyable.
Poorly Formed is a diverse album that is mostly a rockabilly record with a punk rock sensibility (and a great sense of humor). The album starts off with Librarians Are Hiding Something which is a straight forward rockabilly track that is a ton of fun. The second track, Brains, while still a light hearted track, sonically is a completely different. It is a bit slow and leans more towards being classified at alternative. Stuck in a Circle is twangy and super catchy and Pour Beans sing along-y yet distorted. In a Video is a bit alternative and somehow both super smooth and gritty (and also my favorite track). Poorly Formed has a Social D vibe to it and the album ends with Sevita Sing, a dare I say, beautiful ballad.
Go Deep’s Counseling is a timeless hardcore record. It is fast and energetic with heavy beats that will get any pit moving. Imagine early AFI (Answer That and Stay Fashionable era) meets early Beastie Boys (Aglio e Olio era) with a bit of a later hardcore heaviness.
Also, I must say that I love the clip inserted before and after tracks. I don’t know if it was a 90s thing or if just a lot of bands that I listened to then did it, but I always loved the scavenger hunt of finding out what they were.
Counseling clocks in just under 11 minutes, 10:59 actually, and you feel spent after listening to it. Though all these tracks are great, the stand out is Enthusiast, it is a bit rawer, a bit more intense, and a bit harder than the rest of the album.
The Weeds, Roots/Routes is an indie/emo hybrid record that has a classic feel to it, as if it has already stood up to the tests of time and proved its longevity. My favorite overall element of the record is the perfect pairing of the female and male vocals. There are moments of great harmony and there are great moments of the vocals overlapping one another in a bit of a chaotic yet beautiful way.
Feel Nothing, begins slow but the intensity builds as it progresses. There are moments where the vocals croon and there are moments where the vocals scream, but through out there is this great back and forth relationship between the male and female vocals. Up To Speed Your Life leans has a super interesting vibe. It is somewhere between spontaneous and chaotic, but most of all, it feels very natural and raw.
Roots/Routes is out now on the upstart label, Catskull Records and is distributed through No Sleep Records. The EP is available via Spotifiy, but for you old school lovers, it will be released via limited edition cassette (also through No Sleep Records).
I had a really good time listening to this EP. It is super pop punk that sounds and feels natural. They have channeled their influences, mushed them together, and put their own spin on them.
Burner and Home are straight forward good time pop punk tracks. U-Turner is a mix between some reflective and some fantastic tongue in cheek lyrics,” I never thought I would lose my friends when I lost my phone.” America’s Finest and Arizona Sun have the slightest emo nuance.
This EP is only 5 tracks, so you might have to hit repeat once or twice. I am super excited to hear Point of View’s future releases.