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Askew Review 15

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– Dead Flowers, Bottles, Bluegrass, and Bones (Fat Wreck) It’s kinda early to be anointing any CD the “Album of the Year,” but let’s just say that if anything does come out in the next 9 months that’s better than Dead Flowers, Bottles, Bluegrass, and Bones, than 2003 is going to be one fucking sweet year for good music.  
Any concerns that 2000’s Swingin’ Utters may have raised are (happily) blown out of the water with this one.  Bonnel’s heart wrenching barstool-poetry has never been more refined and the tunes – which run the gamut from raging hardcore to smoky, pub singalongs to acoustic to hard rock and then some – are as choice as any the Utters have ever penned.  Obvious influences? Hell yeah: The Pogues, The Clash, Stiff Little Fingers, etc. etc.  At least they’re cribbing from the best.  If you’re the type who desperately needs all your music to be “new” and “edgy,” then bully for you.  Don’t bother with this CD – go sit outside the Virgin Megastore and wait for the new Radiohead album. Idiots.
I got my advance copy of Dead Flowers almost two months ago at this point and the only reason it’s taken me so long to write any sort of review – however brief – is because I’ve been spending most of my “free time” listening to/playing along with the album. Which is what I’m gonna go back to doing right now. Ever catch yourself wondering if you’re really as cool as you think you are?  Get this album: if you like it, you are; if you don’t like it, you aren’t.  Go buy this CD, seriously.  Now.  Get moving.  Go! - Chris Wissmuller



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