After the seven years hiatus that Swingin’ Utters took between 2003 and 2010, the street punk band from California seemed to have found a relative tranquility and also a renewed creative vein. And in fact, in the short time span of only 4 years, the band released three complete studio records. After their 2014’s Fistful of Love, however, another major reshuffle occurred in the line-up, including the departure of longtime drummer Greg McEntee, and in the following four years we basically lost track of the band until the release of Peace and Love, their latest LP, the ninth of their discography.
Swingin’ Utters is an iconic band which has now exceeded thirty years of career. Therefore it’s somehow physiological that their sound has evolved, with the years, towards the quieter and less abrasive regions of punk rock. Their new album, with the exception of a few straight punk tunes, looks definitely softer and middle-paced with respect to the average of the genre. And if some die-hard punkers will find this music too light and too little rebellious for their tastes, others will appreciate how the bay area rockers tried to broaden their musical horizons and compensate the drop in adrenaline with a greater attention to the melodic aspect of the songs.
After the last changes in the line-up, Swingin’ Utters nowadays feature a completely renewed rhythm section, but the absorption of the new members happened fairly smoothly, also because the two newcomers had already played together in the past. In more general terms, everything seems at the right place in their new songs, and the album is absolutely enjoyable and flows fluidly from the first to the last song of the LP. Unfortunately I missed a single memorable piece in the collection, but nonetheless Peace and Love has still all the characteristics to stay for a long time in our music players and bring us healthy doses of fun and energy.
Highlights: Seeds of Satisfaction, E.C.T., and Human Potential.