Tag Archives: New

Album Review: Swingin’ Utters – Here, Under Protest

I am sitting here trying to figure out how to start this review about an Oi!/Street Punk/Folk band that has been around for over two decades.  They are one of the O.F.W.C. (Original Fat Wreck Chords – I made that up) members and have been a huge influence to my punk rock ears ever since I was a teen.

The band I speak of is none other than the Swingin’ Utters and after eight years, the band has dropped Here, Under Protest, perhaps the best thing I have heard ever from the San Francisco band.  Seriously, I can not stop listening to this album, it is amazing.

Where do I start?  Could it be that the band sounds more polished than ever?  Could it be that Johnny Bonnel, Spike Slawson (Me First & The Gimme Gimmes), Daris Koski AND Jack Dalrymple (Dead To Me) share singing duties throughout the release without any sort of conflict?  With all the elements making up the Utters these days, one would think they are a modern day punk rock superband, one I should add that is not a complete joke.

Orson Welles is heard at the beginning of the CD saying “here under protest is beef burgers.”  This line comes from the historic film icon when he was narrating a advertisement for a British company called Findus.  Yes, I searched the internet to find that out.  I knew it was his voice the moment I heard it, but wanted to know more.

“Brand New Lungs” started off the album and I knew right then that the album was going to be an instant gem.  Granted I already had heard the song last summer when the band dropped a 3-song 7″ to tide fans over till the full-length released, the fact of the matter is that the song is solid and perhaps the catchiest track on the entire album.  Bonnel’s raspy voice has never been more welcomed to my ears during this song.

“Taking The Long Way” followed and just kept that great sound continuing to impress me.  The lyrics were interesting as they spoke of basically planting your feet.  “Kick It Over”, featuring Koski on vocals, was a great track that shied away from the usual Utters sound and hinted back to the earlier days of punk rock.  “Good Things” was a little heavier with Bonnel just giving reasons throughout to get hammered.  They don’t call him Johnny “Piss Pants” for nothing you know…  “Heavy Head” was just a smooth track – Nothing more, nothing less.

“(You’ve Got To) Give It All To The Man” was the heaviest, old-school Utters sounding track on the entire album.  Fast paced and to the point, this song screamed 90’s punk rock all the way through.  “Time On My Own” had Koski back on lead vocals and continued with that fun punk rock vibe that took me back to a teen.

The folky “Scary Brittle Frame” may have sounded like nothing else on the album, but it was my favorite track.  I really wish the Utters would just drop an all folk album one of these days.  They do such a great job creating songs here and there that can be found throughout their catalog it would just make sense a full length.

The final track on the album, “Effortless Amnesiac”, was another catchy as hell punk track with Dalrymple taking over vocal duties.  After hear this track I really hope, should he stick around with the band, that he be featured on more future tracks seeing how his singing fit in so well with the music.

It amazes me that a band that has been in the game for so long still has no problem creating such a great release.  Here, Under Protest is good, wholesome punk rock from a group of guys who know exactly what they are capable of.

This new Utters mateiral may not be as Oi!/Street Punk/Folky as they used to be and rub off more as Filthy Theiving Bastards at times, but that is ok by me.  Here, Under Protest, hands down, is one of my favorite punk rock albums so far in 2011.  20 years in the business is never an easy feat, but the Utters have no problem continuing onward.

Swingin' Utters - Taking The Long Way

“Be Your Bro” With Those Darlins

Next Tuesday, Those Darlins will be releasing a 7-inch of two new new album songs entitled “Be Your Bro” and “Let U Down.” This is the first taste from their sophomore album Screws Get Loose that is dropping at the end of March on OH WOW DANG Records.

It is safe to say I am excited. If anyone knows anything about me, I am a big big Those Darlins fan.  After seeing them last Fall, it is safe to say I am stoked to hear their new release.  They changed their sound up a little and it sounds amazing.

7″ Track list
Side A) Be Your Bro
Side B) Let U Down

Those Darlins are currently touring in support of their new release. When these girls (and Linwood) tour, they tour…

Photo by Veta&Theo for Ovvio Arte

TOUR DATES:

JANUARY
27 – Oxford, MS – Proud Larry’s
28 – Hattiesburg, MS – Thirsty Hippo
29 – Auburn, AL – The Independent

FEBRUARY
17 – Fayetteville, AR – George’s Majestic #
18 – St Louis, MO – Pageant #
19 – Chicago, IL – The Vic #
20 – Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue #
22 – Louisville, KY – Headliners #
23 – Cincinnati, OH – Southgate House #
24 – Asheville, NC – Orange Peel #
25 – Atlanta, GA – Buckhead #
26 – Charleston, SC _ Music Farm #
27– Jacksonville, FL – Freebird #

MARCH
1 – Orlando, FL – Plaza Theater #
2 – Tampa, FL Skipper’s #
3 – Tallahassee, FL – The Moon #
4 – New Orleans – Tipitina’s #
5 – Houston, TX – House of Blues #
17th-20th — Austin, TX — SXSW
24 – Washington, DC – The Black Cat +
25 – New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom +
26 – New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom +
27 – Boston, MA – Middle East +
29 – Providence, RI – Firehouse 13
30 – New Haven, CT – BAR
31 – Baltimore, MD – Golden West

APRIL
1 – Columbus, OH – Newport Music Hall +
4 – Omaha, NE – Waiting Room +
6 – Denver, CO – the Bluebird +
7 – Salt Lake City, UT – the Urban Lounge +
8 – Boise, ID – Neurolux +
9 – Seattle, WA – the Crocodile +
10 – Portland, OR – Dante’s +
13 – San Francisco, CA – the Independent +
14 – Santa Cruz, CA – the Rio Theatre +
16 – Santa Barbara, CA – the Mercury Lounge

JUNE
2 – Ozark, AR – Wakarusa Festival

# w/Old 97’s
+ w/Black Joe Lewis

Album Review: Fat Music Vol. 7 – Harder, Fatter + Louder

Hey kids, I want to let you in on a little secret.  Before the internet and digital downloads were around, there used to be this thing called a CD compilation ( and before that they were  called cassette compilations).  It was a CD full of choice tracks that record labels would sell at a discounted price (usually) to help share the music of bands that appeared on their label.  No, I am not talking about that never-ending Now That’s What I Call Music series (seriously, when the hell is that garbage going to end?).   I’m talking about music that actually mattered: non-comercial goodness.  More specifically I am talking about punk rock comps.

Today there still are comp CDs released out there, but they just are not the same and most are digital downloads in an effort to save money in this ever struggling business music.  AMP Magazine did a good job for a while there releasing free comp CDs with their magazines, but after a while I just got bored with them.  The 2cd Warped Tour comps are good and feature a ton of bands on them, but I can not stand most of them.  It just seems like the comp CDs of my younger years always had quality songs from great artists that I could appreciate.

Back in my day, man I sound old, I used to eat up punk rock comps when they came out.  Labels like Fat Wreck Chords, Nitro, Hopeless, Vagrant, and Recess (just to name a few) released some killer comps in the 90’s that helped supply new music to my ears.  I did not have the luxury back then to sit at a computer and type in “new unheard of punk rock music I will enjoy”  and get instant results.  I actually had to go to a music store, many of which are extinct, and BUY an actual CD with money and not a debit card.  Ok, I think you get it.

Whenever I think of punk rock comps I always think of the Fat Music series.  Created by Fat Wreck Chords in 1994, the Fat Series were a series of comps featuring bands on their label that were sold for cheap.  I loved the variety on each release and always found a new band on them to appreciate.

Keep in mind this was before you were able to burn CDs at the click of a mouse.  You kids these days have no idea how easy you have it.  I remember the days where I had to actually make mix-tapes because it was the only way…  So yes, comp CDs were where it was at.

The Fat Music series stopped in 2002 with Uncontrollable Fatulence and soon moved on to digital downloads like everyone else as it was a new era of music and, let’s be honest, they needed to cut corners to keep the business alive thanks to illegal downloading.

I really thought that it was the end of a good thing, that is until Fat Wreck Chords dropped Harder, Fatter + Louder last November.  After a 8 year break, the god people of Fat Wreck Chords decided to drop an all new comp featuring newer acts as well as older contenders. I felt like a kid all over again once I had the copy in my hands, I even used my teeth to rip the plastic off the CD.

On the 7th volume of the series, Fat Mike – owner of Fat Wreck Chords, took 22 songs from upcoming Fat releases as well as a couple older tracks that dropped around in ’09 and ’10.  The result is once again a perfect mix of tracks by a bunch of talented bands.

I was stoked when the first song, “For Better, For Worse”, played on the CD by a band I was not familiar with.  It was an instant reminder why I always loved comp CDs.  The band called, Old Man Markley, is not like any band I have heard on the Fat Wreck label as they are more a folky friend jam that emulates both Flogging Molly and the Avett Brothers in a way.  Coincidentally, their debut on Fat entitled Guts N’ Teeth just dropped this past Tuesday.

Throughout the comp, there were a lot of acts I was already aware of like The Flatliners, Mad Caddies, Tony Sly, and of course NOFX.  Honestly, Old Man Markley was the only band I did not know of prior to listening to the comp but I was stoked to hear new stuff from Cobra Skulls and Chixdiggit!.  Most of the tracks were from upcoming albums giving a taste of good things to come and the rest were obviously already released gems.  Regardless if I had heard them before or not, the collection of songs brought together was good.

If Fat Mike asked me to make a mix I honestly think that: a.) That would be the absolute shit. b.) I would have a hell of a time taking the right songs and limiting them to just one CD – I’ll leave it to the pros.

If you are looking for a punk comp this year go out and grab yourself a copy of Harder, Fatter + Louder.  At just $8 bucks for the CD, there really is no excuse not to get this if you like your rock punk.  Come on, all the cool kids are doing it.

DOWNLOAD THIS! – Cobra Skulls – “Hot Sand”
DOWNLOAD THIS! – Old Man Markley – “For Better, For Worse”

New Racey Constellations Video Premiers On Playboy.com

Hey kids!  There’s a new video by  The Constellations‘ out there that I wish I could share on here.  Due to a naked hottie in the video I can not post it on good ol’ BHP, but that does not mean you can not check it out for yourself!

It’s tasteful don’t worry…. but the video is explicit.  You should be this tall to ride this ride.  18+ kiddos, not like anyone reads this blog but still… Check out the world premiere of the titilating (pun intended), uncensored video from The Constellations for “Perfect Day,” off their upcoming album Southern Gothic, out on June 22:

The Constellations “Perfect Day” Video On Playboy.com

Bjork Video Strange? Indeed.

Bjork released a video today for a remixed version of one of her songs before the actual single has been released.  The original version of “The Dull Flame of Desire” can be found on Bjork’s latest release Volta.  The song takes a huge twist in this version making for a very interesting listen.  Leave it up to one of the most unique artists to continue her originality.

The remixed version of the song “The Dull Flame of Desire” features Björk with dual vocals from Antony Hegarty from Antony & The Johnsons.  The song is full of lyrics that are actually translated lines taken from a poem written by Fyodor Tyutchev.

If you have a moment check out the video.

WARNING:  It is strange as hell and I kind of got freaked out towards the end….

So?  Did it scare you at all or make you wish you never experimented with LSD?

I’ll be honest.  The video sucked.  The song is amazing.  The concept of how the video was created though was interesting.  Bjork held a contest on her website for new directors giving them the chance to work with her.  Bjork chose 3 winners were chosen to collaborate together.  The result is one wierd a** video.

I could not help but think the middle part of that video looked familiar….where did I see that before???

Oh yeah:


Scream Video

haha…..  yeah.  I went there.