VARIOUS ARTISTS: Untitled 21: A Juvenile Tribute to Swingin’ Utters: CD

I’m sure I’ll get some flack for having an opinion about this (because, you know, people who review records aren’t supposed to have an opinion) but isn’t it a bit too soon to release a tribute record for a band that is currently still active? As of May 2010, the Utters are still releasing records and are sparsely playing shows in their native California. Isn’t this like getting a gravestone pre-made for someone who’s still alive? Whatever, on to the music. I was quite impressed with the great mix of well and lesser-known bands that contributed to this disc. Fucked Up is sandwiched between La Plebe and Flatfoot 56. The bummer about tribute discs is when a band practically copies a song note for note. Then again, Useless ID’s complete remake of “Unpopular Again” as the lead off song gives you the impression that you’re in for a bad time. Thank goodness for Off With Their Heads’ awesome take of “Next in Line” and even Street Dogs do a great live version of “The Dirty Sea.” The rest are either barely memorable or utterly (hyuck, hyuck) boring. The rad cover art is courtesy of good old Johnny “Peabucks” Bonnel but, unfortunately, there isn’t much more art to behold. Less discriminating and much more committed fans will surely enjoy this. I re-gifted my copy to a friend who I knew would dig it.

 –Juan Espinosa (Red Scare, redscare.net)