Published on March 31st, 2016 | by Erik Ghint
Album Review: Unwritten Law “Acoustic”
I believe that record reviews are the collective response of the author’s objective opinion and taste in music in general, combined, however, with some undisputed facts. Punk rock/rock veterans Unwritten Law, remaining quiet for some years, have decided to slowly come back to light with an acoustic record on April 1st 2016 through Cyber Tracks Records.
Up All Night
I Like The Way
Belongs To You
I was never a huge Unwritten Law follower, but, throughout the years of my earlier connection to punk rock/pop rock/heavier rock, their hit songs have always stayed with me. That is actually what I believe best characterizes the band; the ability to write widely popular songs with a rock, or even a punk rock vibe. The band lastly released Swan in 2011 and sort of faded out from that point onwards, having to deal with re-occurring lineup changes. Original member/drummer Wade Youman returns to the band in 2013 and with Scott Russo, singer/guitarist, and Chris Lewis and Johnny Grill on guitar and bass respectively they are now set to bring Unwritten Law back to life for good in 2016. The beginning, release-wise, is set off with a re-recording of 11 of their classic tracks, plus a MSTRKRFT/John Legend cover and a brand new song, all in a full-band acoustic fashion.
Unwritten Law did an excellent job at approaching this recording, as it isn’t a typical acoustic record, in that it is not just Scott Russo singing and some guitars backing him up. Even though the guy has one of the most distinct voices I’ve ever heard and could possibly sing anything horrible out there and make it sound incredible, the band chose to carefully construct most of the songs by using a ton of different methods and even try different music styles; from drum samples to any metal object fit for percussion, piano, synths, you name it. While it’s not overproduced and overthought, the record has a smooth balance to it and the final outcome is something you can easily listen to on a sunny day drive in your car or at home on a cool afternoon. Every hit of theirs is reinterpreted greatly, blending the memorable choruses with this fresh acoustic style.
If I could change anything, that would be the cover artwork and I’d add a couple of songs from their earlier releases; other than that, the outcome is very enjoyable.
The band intends to record new music soon, so this release should work perfectly to remind you why Unwritten Law span a 20-something year career. Try this record out, you’ll be as pleasantly surprised as I was.