One of the more traditional-sounding of California’s punk revival bands, Swingin’ Utters formed in the late ’80s around a first-name-only lineup of vocalist Johnny, guitarists Max and Darius, bassist Kevin, and drummer Greg. Originally based in Santa Cruz, these street punks later moved to San Francisco and recorded for several different labels, including Side One, IFA Records, and New Red Archives.
The group first released 1992’s Scared as Johnny Peebucks & the Swingin’ Utters, but things really started to happen for them three years later with their full-length The Streets of San Francisco. The album garnered the band much attention, including Best Debut Album at the Bay Area Music Awards, and Swingin’ Utters soon found themselves on the first annual Vans Warped Tour. They later also toured with Rancid before signing to Fat Wreck Chords (run by NOFX’s Fat Mike); Swingin’ Utters released A Juvenile Product of the Working Class in 1996 and Five Lessons Learned two years later.