Artist: Swingin’ Utters (Official, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Fat Wreck Chords, Last.fm, AllMusic, Wikipedia)
The Swingin’ Utters’ latest release, The Librarians Are Hiding Something, could be seen as a bit of a transition piece, not really musically but within the band itself. First off the title track is the first time guitarist Jack Dalrymple (of One Man Army and Dead To Me fame) contributed to the songwriting process (he co-wrote the song with singer Johnny Bonnel). This track also includes the debut of the band’s new bassist Miles Peck, while “Rude Little Rooms” is the last song with former bassist Spike Slawson (of Me First & the Gimme Gimmes and Re-Volts fame). Slawson had been with the band since 1998’s Five Lessons Learned and admittedly I was sad to hear that he left the band.
As far as the songs themselves are concerned, they are classic Utters. Both songs are catchy and propelled with great hooks. It’s not surprising that Dalrymple’s writing messed perfectly with the band. The first time I heard One Man Army was the song “Down the Block” on a seven inch four band compilation and it instantly reminded me of the Swingin’ Utters. Over the years both the Utters and Dalrymple have grown as songwriters and on more than one occasion one could see similar lines of development between Swingin’ Utters, One Man Army, Filthy Thieving Bastards, Dead To Me, Re-Volts, and Druglords of the Avenues. “The Librarians Are Hiding Something” is the perfect convergence of said experience and the result is classic Utters and terrific rock ‘n’ roll. “Rude Little Rooms” is a quintessential Darius Koski song complete with a catchy as heck hook and lyrics expressing desperation.
Overall this is an excellent EP and makes me quite anxious for the band’s next full-length record. The Utters is a band that I have followed closely for 16 years (including all of their side projects) and is one that has yet to disappoint. In fact the Swingin’ Utters is one of the few bands that always puts out top notch material and The Librarians Are Hiding Something follows in that stellar tradition. This EP is a must for any Swingin’ Utters fan and not a bad place to start for those new to the band.