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Askew Review 15

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SWINGIN’ UTTERS- Live In A Dive (Fat Wreck) You know what’s a cryin’ goddamn shame?  No, but you’re sure I’m gonna tell you, aren’t ya, smartass?  There are horrible boy bands- both of the traditional dance-y cheeseball type and the new “punk” variety- singing crap and making millions.  There are countless dumbfucks on mindless reality shows cashing in big time on their questionable fifteen minutes of fame.  And Darius Koski and Johnny Bonnel, the driving forces behind the Swingin’ Utters, have to work regular day jobs just to make ends meet. Unless it’s the Ramones I’m generally not a fan of live albums, but this one is truly exceptional.  Recorded in May of 2003 at the Troubadour in L.A., Live In A Dive is 60-odd minutes of a band just whoopin’ ass.  They play a wide range of stuff from releases both old and new here, leading off with a blistering version of “Don’t Ask Why” and never looking back.  It’s all good, but my favorites on this one are the rollicking, accordion-driven “Mother of the Mad” and the buttocks kickin’ takes of “Nowhere Fast” and “The Next In Line.”  They also mix in some solid covers (Stiff Little Fingers’ “Here We Are Nowhere” and Cock Sparrer’s “I Got Your Number” if you want specifics), and their between song banter can be pretty hilarious.   Overall it’s just a great bunch of honest to goodness, pure energetic, meaty working class punk rock songs, and I think their Social D. /Pogues-influenced sound comes across fantastically well in a live setting.  So much so that I wish I’d been there that night (though I probably would’ve been so drunk I wouldn’t be able to recall anything, but hey, I could’ve eventually relived my hazy good time with this fine disc). –Ben Hunter

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