After over 20 years together, Swingin’ Utters have become more of a punk institution than a band. As their style has shifted from classic punk revival to a more roots rock-oriented sound, their albums have felt increasingly like visits from old, dear friends, showing up every once in a while a little older and more comfortable with who they are, but at their core, they’re still the same bunch of guys you’ve known all along. This sentiment continues to ring true on their seventh album, Here, Under Protest. The album paints a picture of a band that’s older and wiser, delivering sage advice from the punk trenches to a younger generation that’s still trying to find their way in this world. In “Time on My Own,” Darius Koski delivers the wistful warning, “All of my time, alone/Is so precious and pleasant/Even when it’s not well spent/There’s all this time to own/But I waste it like it’s shit/Take it for granted and forget,” urging us all to remember to take advantage of the time we have. These kinds of ideas give the album a kind of “listen up, kiddo” feeling, as if you’re sitting at a bar with the old guard soaking up the wisdom as they tell stories amongst themselves. What’s amazing is the whole thing comes off without feeling heavy-handed or overly sentimental. The main goal here, after all, is rock & roll, and no matter how much they’ve changed over the years, that’s one thing that Swingin’ Utters have never lost sight of.
AllMusic Review by Gregory Heaney