Thursday, September 23, 2010

Swingin' Utters - The Copyrights - Have Nots -- DC9 - Sep 22 2010

Have Nots - The night is punk rock. Boston's Have Nots hit the stage and rip right into their set of high energy punk rock/power pop with touches of ska punk. Glad to see things progress from the "This is Boston, Not LA" days, as these guys sound far more LA or rather SF or UK I think. Drums were steady, the bass was playful and the guitars just cranked out tons of quick chords with the rare solo tossed in now and then. Pretty steady enjoyable set with one song at the end that really stood out as a classic of sorts. A few more of those and we may have some genius at work. But the rest of it was steady enough to make it an enjoyable start to the evening.

The Copyrights - Another two guitar four-piece lineup here. Instantly I hear a continuation of the previous sound. There was more thrust from the drums and the pace was up a notch with less ska moves and more pop-punk. The club is filling up nicely by now and the crowd is enjoying it in the usual subdued DC manner. The songs were short and were mostly predictable, but there were just enough creative twists, especially in the latter part of the set, that I ended up appreciating this band as something above average in this genre. Some nice tempo shifts at the end and they are done. Good job.

PhotoChris Gomez 07  
Photo:Chris Gomez '07

Swingin' Utters - This veteran outfit has been around since the early 90s. I first heard them when some neighborhood kids helped me with some heavy lifting and then came back to go through my extensive punk rock record collection. I played them some old gems and they mentioned this was one of their favorite bands. They sounded like good old-school punk back then and now they are considered old school punk (The opening band said the Utters probably last played here in the 70s). They line-up as a five-piece with a couple of guitars and full-time vocalist. Sounds as if Mike Ness was singing in front of a band made up from members of Bad Religion and the Dickies. There is also the looming presence of Stiff Little Fingers and the UK scene (as there was with all bands). There is enough variety in the approach and they have managed to write catchy songs over the years. The crowd is jumping and moving around finally which says more than I can. Glad to finally catch these guys, as I always like a well-done punk show and there are not as many as there used to be, even if there are more bands.

Quote of the Night: From the Copyrights singer... "This song is really old. We never play it... possibly for good reason."

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