Alright, this is Darius, mighty stakeholder and humble leader of Swingin’ Utters and Filthy Thieving Bastards. Truth be told, this could have been a half-eaten, grilled cheese sandwich stuffed into a CD case and I still would have given it a chance. Koski’s musical abilities have always pushed the boundaries of his bands out of punk’s more recognizable formats, but this is a whole other planet of genre exploration and recording. As usual, the songwriting is tops, somehow full of angelic whimsy while remaining grounded like boots on the picket line. I would not call this a “country” album, but Darius explores some of that territory as he has in the past, without lazily sinking into the outplayed, cringe-worthy, all-too-familiar tale of punks gone hotrod rockabilly. Instead, Darius comes off more like some of the outlaw country bad asses who, in my opinion, have always been honorary punks. Names like Steve Earle, Gillian Welch, and Townes Van Zandt come to my mind. Darius does it, thankfully, without donning a brand new cowboy hat on the cover, and while still not giving in to the pressure to make an album that sounds just like anyone’s expectations, other than his own.
–John Mule (Fat)