CD Dead Flowers, Bottles, Bluegrass, and Bones (CD 963045),
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Dead Flowers, Bottles, Bluegrass, and Bones
1. No Pariah
3. Hopeless Vows
4. Dead Flowers, Bottles, Bluegrass and Bones
5. All That I Can Give
6. Sign in a Window
7. Dont Ask Why
9. Letters to Yourself
10. Heaven at Seventeen
11. Leaves of Fate
12. If You Want Me To
14. Poor Me
15. My Closed Mind
16. Looking for Something to Follow
17. Shadows and Lies
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 648
The Greedy Brothers
Blag; Andrew Alekel; Mike Busbee; Bradley Cook
Swingin' Utters: Darius Koski (vocals, guitar, violin, viola, accordion, piano, organ); Spike Lawson (vocals, guitar, bass); Johnny Bonnel (vocals); Greg McEntee (drums).
Additional personnel: Max Huber (guitar); Mike Busbee (vibraphone, bass, percussion); Tom Brayton (percussion).
Recorded at Mama Jo's, North Hollywood, California; Stout Recording, Okaland, California; Grand Master Recorders and Greedy Media, Los Angeles, California.
Personnel: Darius Koski (vocals, guitar, violin, viola, accordion, piano, organ, keyboards); Spike Slawson (vocals, guitar); Johnny "Peebucks" Bonnel (vocals); Mike Busbee (vibraphone, percussion); Greg McEntee (drums); Tom Brayton (percussion).
Audio Mixers: Blag; Ryan Greene; Bradley Cook.
Recording information: Grandmaster Recorders, Los Angeles, CA (04/2002-08/2002); Greedy Media, Los Angeles, CA (04/2002-08/2002); Stout Recording, Oakland (04/2002-08/2002).
Photographer: Mike Moriatis.
Unknown Contributor Role: Brian Archer.
Fans needn't worry -- the title is a bit of a misnomer; the band hasn't gone country and there's no bluegrass in sight, just 17 heavy-hitting hardcore slammers, so take a deep breath and dive straight in. The brew is still heady, a stomping mix of rabid punk and pub-crunching singalongs -- the ultimate party mix with a kick. There are a few changes within, though: bassist Spike now adds his voice to the boiling brew, and again, this should provoke no fears that the Utters have suddenly turned all pop harmonious, although if "Glad" was less storming, Blink-182 would be happy to nick it, with its "clichs sung by stars" chorus and all.
The title track is a very modern love song where old school meets new in a brewery, "All That I Can Give" wanders into a western and evokes nihilism on the prairie, while "Don't Ask Why" returns to the city to give the tough new breed "so content with being average" a good kicking. And who else but the Utters could believably utter: "My accordion is shining in the light of the moon from the sky," within a tear-stained, boozy, heartaching moan. But heartache hangs heavy over Dead Flowers, Bottles, Bluegrass, and Bones, from the heartbreakingly lovely intro which plays tribute to the Who on "Letters to Yourself," through the VD blues of "Heaven at Seventeen," and across the emotional maelstrom of "My Closed Mind." And still the Utters are not done, for on "Poor Me" they explain their inability to rest on their laurels and their need for the lights and glory. Their wit remains as sharp as ever, and if anything is even more finely honed, puncturing all in its path -- the emotions raw, but their pens refined. And as for the music, across 35 minutes the group gives it their all: searing headbangers, anthemic punk rockers, raucous rockers, more delicate acoustic numbers, and everything in between. Buy it for the music but keep it for the insights; Dead Flowers swings like a scythe, the best yet from the band. ~ Jo-Ann Greene
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