The Swingin’ Utters rock out. Oi!

By Ivan Danielewicz

An otherwise normal beginning to the school year was loudly interrupted by the screaming guitars, crashing drums and powerful vocals of the Swingin’ Utters. It rang through a quiet MacEwan Hall as they got ready for their Mon., Sept. 8 show.

Punk rockers for over ten years, the Swingin’ Utters visited Calgray as their third stop on a three-week tour across Canada and the northern U.S. in support of their new album Dead Flowers, Bottles, Bluegrass and Bones.

"The tour has gone great so far," smiles guitarist Darius Koski.

"Nothing too weird has happened yet, but this is just the third show. Unfortunately, Jonny [Bonnel, vocals] is sick and Greg [McEntee, drums] is starting to get sick. "

Their stage show flows from their music–fast, upbeat and intense. Bonnel whipped the crowd into a frenzy spawning a rampaging mosh pit. Teaming up with the Youth Brigade, the Swingin’ Utters put on an excellent punk show, leaving the audience drained from their high-energy music and stage show.

"I think we’ve actually got faster with age," says Koski. "Our new stuff sounds like speed metal compared to the stuff we used to play. As we got better at our instruments, we just started to play faster, which is weird because I don’t actually remember us trying to play faster. At the same time though, we became more diverse."

Blasting out Oi-punk with a large British influence, these California boys have lost nothing with age. Signed to Fat Wreck Chords in 1996, Swingin’ Utters released Juvenile Product of the Working Class that same year. Since then they have released three albums, including their most recent offering.

"With our new label, we were able to spend more time in the studio," Koski explains. "I think our new records are much better than they used to be, they’re more polished. We have began to diversify and write better music."

Adding new instruments to the fray, the new album is an excellent progression. A couple acoustic tracks help even out the hard-hitting punk delivered throughout the rest of the album.

The Swingin’ Utters new album and continued love of their music will help ensure a great future for this dedicated punk band, and Koski seems to agree.

"We were all just punkers and we just happened to bond onto the whole English thing, like the Clash and the Stiff Little Fingers. Some of my top influences are the Beatles, Elvis Costello and Tom Waits," he explains. "But this is our job, I mean, it’s not a nine-to-five job but we’re out here to tour, though it doesn’t always feel like that because it’s such a great experience."

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