Review Summary: An appropiate hits collection that showcases the present band, but not the past band members all that well.
I first heard Unwritten Law in 8th grade with the single, "Save Me (wake-up call)". The song soon became one of my favorites with it's catchy rythmn and depressive lyrics that seemed to apply to me. This, however, was the last time I heard about them until 2006 when I was searching Myspace. I stumbled onto them again. Here, I learned about the "Hit List" and the lead single, "Shoulda Known Better". I was really intrigued, and the week it came out, I picked it up at the store. A large portion of the album I had never heard before, so I couldn't wait to pop it in.
Unwritten Law is a rock/pop punk band that formed in 1990 in Poway, California. The band has gone through many line up changes, but presently, Scott Russo sings, Steve Morris plays the guitar, Pat Kim on bass, and the drummer, Tony Palermo. The band started with a punk rock sound, but now makes accessible rock albums.Their sound can be descibed as a mix between Blink-182 and Jimmy Eat World, though many might disagree with me on this. They are now spending most of their time touring to promote the "Hit List", with the exception of Palermo whose wife has given birth to a child.
The Hit List is a "best of" album including three songs from 2005's "Here's to the Mourning" and fourteen songs from their earlier albums. The fourteen songs mentioned were all re-recorded with the band's present members. Some of the songs sound different than the originals, but not in a terrible way. Two new songs are also present as well, "Shoulda Known Better" and "Welcome to Oblivion" are welcome additions with the prior being the lead single for this collection.
Nine of the original songs given were actual singles, where as the other eight were just songs picked from the albums. I recently got their self-titled, "Elva", and "Here's to the Mourning" albums, and I feel they chose strong and appropiate tracks. In fact, some of the songs, I enjoyed more than the singles such as "Harmonic","Lonesome", and "Celebration Song". All the songs given are very catchy and showcase the band very well from their punk rock sound to what it now is today. Listening to these songs, makes me wonder why they never got the appropiate attention they desserved. Both "Seein' Red" and "Save Me (Wake-up Call)" charted fairly high, but the other songs are just as great.
The album isn't a perfect collection, however. The twentieth track is a pointless remix of the previously mentioned lead single and serves no purpose but to end the compilation on a repetitive note. Though, the biggest fault comes in re-recording the original fourteen songs. In my oppinion, "best of" albums should be judged on how well they showcase the bands hits but also how well they show the growth of the band through those hits. Re-recording the songs takes that growth aspect away in some ways. The re-recordings are good, however, but they still should of left them they way they were. That being said, this is still a great collection of songs and anyone who enjoys this should also look into their other albums.
-["Shoulda Known Better"]