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Album Review

Taking a cue from fellow alternative pop bands like Everclear, Unwritten Law beefs up its production and plays with its trademark sound on Elva. The band is moving farther away from the anemic punk rock that made it a critical bull's-eye in the '90s, and the newer pop direction fits Unwritten Law's abilities perfectly. The only real issue with the album is the generic way the band approaches most of the rock songs. Slower, more weighty songs like "Seein' Red" get the maximum treatment because of their knack for building to a strong chorus. But the rockers tend to start with all guns blazing, just to fizzle out after a few verses. There are obvious exceptions, especially the excellent "Mean Girl," which packs a powerful punch around the chorus, and "Nick & Phil" stays interesting due to the raging vocals contrasting with the syrupy background vocals. But then there are songs like "Rescue Me," which does not maintain energy because of the overly smooth chorus that follows the Jawbox-esque verses. Still, to see Unwritten Law attempting new things is always comforting, especially when the band is good at them. From the reggae-tinged "How You Feel" to the Soul Asylum country-rock of "Rest of My Life," there is a lot here that branches out from the group's previous sound, and it is this variety and catchiness that makes this a recommendation for fans of alternative pop bands.

Customer Reviews

Great Songs, Great Veriety

A couple months ago, I only knew three song by this group: Seein' Red, Celebration Song, and Save Me. But then they started popping up in movies (Grind) and games (Midnight Club 3). So I decided to check them out on iTunes. They had some good stuff -- from what I listened on there -- but no "Must Buys". But I got one of there CDs for Christmas and I was REALY wrong. I liked all the songs on Elva (Excluding the 40 second tracks that aren't songs). This Album has a wonderful mix of powerful slow songs, (Exampes: Rest of My Life, Elva, Seein' Red) hard rockin' songs, (Ex: Babalon, Hellborn) and everything in between. I dare you not to find a song you like in this album.

i <3 unwritten law

this album rocks! seein' red, the final song in the movie Grind, is my favorite, but the rest of the album is great too!!!

simply beautiful

it has a magical appeal never has such sweet melody graced my ears


Formed: 1990 in Poway, CA

Genre: Rock

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

Veteran San Diego, California punk rock band Unwritten Law was formed in the early 1990s by drummer Wade Youman. After a few different iterations in their lineup, the group eventually coalesced around vocalist Scott Russo, guitarists Rob Brewer and Steve Morris, bassist John Bell, and Youman. After releasing their debut, Blue Room, on Red Eye Records, Unwritten Law toured America several times but grew frustrated by the lack of distribution of their records. The band eventually signed to Epic, which...
Full Bio
Elva, Unwritten Law
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Customer Ratings

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