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Down By Law

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Album Review

Dave Smalley's previous experience with melodic punkers All serves him well on Down By Law's debut, which often incorporates tunefulness without sacrificing intensity; the vocal harmonies of "Dreams Away" and the dreamy delay effects of "Vision" don't undermine those songs, but make them a bit deeper and more dimensional. Unfortunately, those techniques aren't applied consistently throughout the album, resulting in a lack of cohesion; at times Down By Law sounds like one of the many Bad Religion clones ("The Truth"), while at others they sound like hard rock hacks ("American Dream"). But when Down By Law finds the right balance of aggression and melody, as on gems like the Descendents-esque "Best Friends," the band shows great potential.

Biography

Formed: 1991 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Following his departure from All after the group's first two albums under that name, vocalist/guitarist Dave Smalley (also formerly of Dag Nasty) put together Down By Law in 1991 with ex-Clawhammer guitarist Chris Bagarozzi and the former Chemical People rhythm section of Ed Urlik (bass) and Dave Nazworthy (drums). This lineup remained together only for Down By Law's debut album, 1992's Blue; when the follow-up, 1994's Punkrockacademyfightsong, appeared, Smalley had reconstituted the band with guitarist...
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Down By Law, Down By Law
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