January 14, 2014

Album Reviews: Poorly Formed by Swingin Utters (Best Pop Punk Albums of 2013)

Ok so first off we want to fully acknowledge that we are WAY late on the "Top 10" or "Best Of" lists train that usually arrives before the end of the year. However, just because the train is late doesn't mean we can't still enjoy flattening those precious shiny releases on the tracks of insignificant ranking systems.

As stated in Episode 50, we decided to forget the whole Top 10 competition and just enjoy the great music that was released throughout the year. The first of such releases to be reviewed by us being Poorly Formed by Swingin Utters.

Poorly Formed was released on February 19 by Fat Wreck Chords. Featuring 14 tracks with a variety of sounds that range from upbeat punk to slower Celtic and country inspired. All staples of SU's music. Although the songs range quite a bit in style, they all cohesively fit fairly well within the structure of the album.

The album starts off with energy in "The Librarians Are Hiding Something" and continues the positive vibes through the first few songs, including our personal favorite "Brains" and the recently released single "Stuck In A Circle."

The album makes a quick visit to the country with "I'm A Little Bit Country" before heading into a grungy, distorted garage rock feel with "In A Video" and the album's title track. We are then taken back into the slower paced Celtic inspired tunes of "Greener Grass" and "Temporary Contemporary."

"Walk With The Postman" is a catchy tune and "Military Barbara Billingsly" is a fun listen with shout-outs to various comedic celebrities such as Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, Louis CK, Ricky Gervais and Jon Stewart. The following two tracks return to the gritty garage feel before ending on a gloomy, yet beautiful acoustic string arrangement in "Sevita Sing."

Overall, Poorly Formed is indeed a hodgepodge of styles of sounds yet none of them feels totally out of place. In an era of downloadable singles, this is an album I find myself listening to often from start to finish. Though I will admit that on occasion I find myself listening to the first half of the album and then skipping a few of the songs near the end. The variety may not work for everyone but in my opinion the sounds are diverse enough to have their own unique feel but are similar enough as to not completely ruin the flow of the album listening experience.

Our Ranking: (7.5/10) - Good album with some catchy tunes and a range of styles.

Buy Poorly Formed by Swingin Utters on CD, Vinyl or MP3 here: Fat Wreck Chords

Vinyl Pressing info:
-417 - Tan Vinyl
-103 - Light Blue Vinyl w/ Fat Store Label