Western Settings, Darius Koski, Company Retreat
Kansas City, MO, 64111
Doors 7:30 PM
This event is 21 and over
Watch & Listen
After more than a quarter century as a band, there's really only one thing you can count on being the same with each new record from the Swingin' Utters, and that is that they're going to make it a little different. “From the first record, I wanted to mix it up as much as we could,” says co-founder Darius Koski. “Playing with different genres and instrumentation makes it more interesting. As long as it's a cohesive record, it works for us.”
That dedication to not replicating any standard “Swingin' Utters sound” has resulted in what may be their most cohesive (and paradoxically, one of their most diverse) records yet: the brand new long-player Fistful of Hollow, which explores the Utters' interests in far afield sounds including Britpop, mod, Celtic, country, folk, and—of course—a solid foundation of West Coast punk rock.
Helping lend to the album-to-album multiformity is the fact that for the second album in a row, a member made his first forays into tunesmithing for the band. Devotees will remember that last time around (on 2013's Poorly Formed), guitarist Jack Dalrymple stepped up to the plate, and this time around bassist Miles Peck got his first at-bat, co-writing four of the album's fifteen tracks with vocalist Johnny Bonnel.
“It wasn't weird when Miles brought these songs, 'cause they're not punk songs,” says Koski. On working with Peck, Bonnel says, “Collaborating on art has got to be one of the most gratifying things for me. I'm surrounded by truly unique and interesting brains in the Swingin' Utters.” Acknowledging that punk bands get easily pigeonholed sonically, Koski adds “We're not that type of band anymore. I think people expect we'll have some weird stuff on the record.”
Weird might not be a proper description for the head-bobbing title track (penned by Darius himself), but extraordinary definitely is, in both senses of the word: it is quite excellent, but also quite out of the ordinary, with a jangle reminiscent of many mainstays of late '80s/early '90s college radio. The title and cover art are also a tip of the hat to a heralded album from one of the greatest bands of that era, The Smiths and their classic Hatful of Hollow.
Since returning from an eight year recording hiatus in 2011, Swingin' Utters have been downright prodigious, releasing three albums in four years. And with so many influences, and so many band members pitching songs into the mix, it won't be long before there's a whole new batch of songs for you to suckle from the sonic teat of the Utters. “If it was up to me, we would've had a record every year from the time we started,” exclaims Darius, “but we're just glad to get back on the map again an go on a real tour and see what happens.”
Pick up Fistful of Hollow on November 11, and look for the band to swing through a town near you this winter supporting old pals Lagwagon before heading out on their own headliner in the spring.
American punk band, formed in 1987 as a cover band in the Bay Area of California by singer Johnny Peebucks (né Bonnel), bass player Kevin Wickersham, guitarist Aric McKenna and drummer Greg McEntee.
Darius Koski joined on guitar & vocals in 1990; McKenna then departed, Joel Dison joined and the group began writing originals, releasing the "Gives You Strength" 7" and "Scared" 10". Dison left in '92 and was replaced by Max Huber.
A number of singles, EPs and the group's first LP, "The Streets of San Francisco" (all of which saw Koski becoming the band's dominant songwriter) followed, prompting the group to sign to longtime label Fat Wreck Chords.
Wickersham left before the recording of 1998's "Five Lessons Learned" and Spike Slawson was later announced as the group's new bass player. Huber departed during the 2002 recording of "Dead Flowers, Bottles, Bluegrass and Bones," and, following a string of touring guitarists, was replaced on a permanent basis by ex-One Man Army and Dead To Me member Jack Dalrymple. In 2012, Spike Slawson left the group, to be replaced by Miles Peck of The Sore Thumbs.
Band members are active in a number of side projects, including Filthy Thieving Bastards, The Druglords Of The Avenues, toyGuitar, One Man Army, and The Sore Thumbs.
"Sometimes you need a reminder of where you started. Punk rock may not have saved my life but it gave me something to be excited about when growing up in the Chicago suburbs. It gave me friends, a community, and a social context I wouldn't have had otherwise. Punk rock has given me so much throughout the years but, at this point in my life, I don't always give it the attention I owe it. Thankfully, Yes It Is, the fantastic debut full length from San Diego's Western Settings, is the reminder I needed. I immediately fell in love with this album and band. I was blown away on my first listen and can't keep it out of my rotation if I tried.
I'm usually able to pin down a band's style or influences when I listen to an album. I couldn't do that with Western Settings. The band is a diverse mix of different influences, reflected in the variety of songs on the album, that makes them stand out from other bands. They aren't pigeon-holed into one style and aren't afraid to take a chance with a song that other bands would save for a b-side ("Dying Without Children," "Table for One," "Bricks"). Western Settings regularly takes what would have already been a great song to a different place, turning songs into anthems that kids will sing along with. Western Settings will be that band that bridges the gaps between punk, emo, and hardcore, bringing the spectrum of the scene together for a rollicking good time.
On multiple occasions, I heard the band almost break into another level but not make that final push. Don't take this as a negative when listening to the album. The best part of Yes It Is is knowing that Western Settings will get even better. The band displays a significant amount of potential in these songs. This band has the capability to be something really special and I have no doubt that Western Settings, with their considerable amount of talent and potential, can reach that level and set the bar in the foreseeable future to become a mainstay of the scene.
You don't come across a band like Western Settings every day, let alone every year. They're something special. This is the band you tell your friends about every day, imploring them to give it a shot. This is a band that brings friends together. It will be exciting to see what Western Settings does next and how they get there. They could be one of those bands you tell everyone you saw at a house show the first time they came through your town. Trust me, you won't want to miss out on anything Western Settings does." – For The Love of Punk
"Punk rock has long since embraced the emotional assurance of bands like Jawbreaker and the Replacements, to the point that heart-on-the-sleeve punk has become little more than a buzzword. It sounds great, sure, and the imagery it conjures up is of aggressive strums backing open-wound lyrics that cut as much as they stick, but its the rare band that delivers on that promise. Western Settings' debut "Yes It Is" delivers hard. Filled from top to bottom with sticky melodies and muscular musicianship, Western Settings has written a record that rocks as hard as it resonates. " – Dying Scene
"Their new album "Yes It Is" provides a glimpse into their enthusiastic melody driven punk, dominated by rousing vocals and driving guitars. Western Settings take the pop-punk formula and remove any shallow traits, leaving a rough and ready core surrounded by euphoric melody." – Punktastic
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$12.00 - $14.00