Swingin' Utters Here, Under Protest

Swingin' Utters are back after an eight-year wait with what could be the patio punk album of the summer. The California cow punks are at their best when the hooks come naturally and on Here, Under Protest, their first record since 2003's Dead Flowers, Bottles, Bluegrass and Bones, there's an easiness and confidence that soak through the best songs like a Santa Cruz sunset. Whether it's the post-chorus melodies of "Brand New Lungs" or the hand-clapped bounce of "Kick It Over," Here, Under Protest rarely forces the issue. When it does, the fast-paced, quickly forgettable "(You've Got To) Give It All to the Man" and the folk-y, forced "Scary Brittle Bones" are the result. Melodic but with a bit of whisky soaked grit, Here, Under Protest took nearly ten years, but in the end, it was mostly worth it. (Fat Wreck)