Unwritten Law
Here's to the Mourning


3.5
great

Review

by Mookid USER (29 Reviews)
February 15th, 2013 | 12 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Supported with enjoyable and refreshing choruses, along with tight instrumentation, (but sadly shadowed by generic lyrics) this is a well above-average record for the band

Based in San Diego, California, Unwritten Law is an alternative-rock band similar to artists like Lagwagon and Alien Ant Farm, who have so far released six studio albums. Although they were extremely underrated at the beginning of their career, overtime, the mainstream got the best of them and they began to gain appropriate spotlight. Vocally, Scott Russo returns with his shouted yet passionate vocals along with some infectious guitar riffs to carve out a fantastic album; recommended as a starting point for the band. But despite it being marred by inconsistency and the occasional generic attitude (seen by some of the singles and mediocre lyrics, for instance), this is probably their most recognized album and a fan-favorite by far.

By no means is this album terrible or atrocious, but Here’s to the Mourning can sometimes be simply bad and tediously basic. The impressively outstanding tracks such as ‘Save Me’, ‘Because of You’, and ‘She Says’ represent some of their most rockin’ and sterile songs to date, but others such as ‘Get Up’ are somewhat cringe-worthy and something to be ignored with the band, ultimately. Personally, though, the band has a great sense of melody, making this one of the strongest characteristics on the album.

The album features eleven, relatively strong tracks ultimately led with guitars and vocals (and once in a blue moon, a violin). Because of their strong singles, this album was boisterous in mainstream popularity and even won them some appraisable awards. Most of the songs presented here are anthem-like and energetic, rarely falling on the lines of “depressing” or “gloomy”, giving off more of an easy- listening vibe. Album opener ‘Get Up’ showcases the energy well by delivering although terribly cheesy lyrics, an easily sing-along chorus and great guitar hooks here and there. ‘Because of You’ is definitely highlighted by the sparkling guitar melody and laid-back/euphoric chorus, whereas ‘Lost Control’ is led with a crunchy guitar riff and intense rhythm setups. Songs like ‘Save Me’ could provide therapy for some listeners though, solely by the reflective lyrics about alcoholism and the great cross between twinkling guitar melodies and crunchy riffs (seen from the verses and choruses). The song was also selected as a single, and rightfully so.

Backtracking though, ‘Celebration Song’ is a very melodic yet seemingly chaotic song driven by one hell of a chorus and fun ‘n rough instrumentation, another clear highlight for this album and a personal favorite. ‘She Says’ is a more aggressive track, mostly because of the pounding percussion and simplistic riff, but despite it being slightly inaccessible and periodically hard to swallow (depending on your mood); it’s a grinder of a track and a sweet spot for the album. During the verses, Scott really exemplifies his best ability both vocally and even lyrically, mostly because of how he harmonizes very well with the beautiful acoustic guitar melody heard in the background, and slides in very personal lyrics that make it a redeeming quality compared to some other atrocious lyrics found on the album.

Despite the album being very radio-friendly (their singles were heard on the radio sometime every twenty minutes back in ’04 and ’05), Here’s To the Mourning is a fairly consistent record with good melodies, passionate vocals and a slew of fun choruses. Like aforementioned, ‘Get Up’ is pretty much offensive in all five senses, but luckily, most of the album makes up for the dead space. The album has an air of familiarity (I’m sure) for already fans of the band, and is overall above-average.

Song recs:

Celebration Song
Because of You
Save Me
She Says



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Mookid
February 14th 2013


1438 Comments


This was a quick write-up I suppose

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
February 14th 2013


19933 Comments


Nice! This was my first unwritten law

YOU CAN'T SAVE ME YOU CAN'T CHANGE ME

Digging: Coldworld - Melancholie

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
February 14th 2013


19933 Comments


This whole album is basically about drugs

Mookid
February 14th 2013


1438 Comments


thanks Atari haha. Yeah this album was my first from the band.



TooLateToGoBack
February 14th 2013


1775 Comments


@Atari: Hah, that was my jam back when this came out.

I think I heard them through one of the Midnight Club games and went out to buy the CD right away.

Calc
February 14th 2013


12252 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

good album right hea

Rastapunk
February 15th 2013


742 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I think I bought that album long time ago. Didn't like it that much.

Willie
Moderator
February 15th 2013


16051 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I'm not trying to be that guy, but Lagwagon isn't alternative rock, and before this release, neither were these guys.

Also, my opinion, this is a below average album for these guys. Nice review, though ;)

Mookid
February 15th 2013


1438 Comments


Lol, well they sound like Lagwagon for me. Weird I guess

This album's great though, even at times basic. Thanks ;))))

EvoHavok
February 15th 2013


1447 Comments


I only know Celebration Song from NFS Underground 2. Fun song and times.

Digging: At the Gates - At War with Reality

MichaelSnoxall
February 15th 2013


12163 Comments


Unwritten Law started out as punk. I haven't heard this album, but their first two albums were definitely punk (just like Lagwagon is punk). I'd call their self-titled and Elva punk too (but they're more pop-punk, really). I haven't heard their other albums.

Willie
Moderator
February 15th 2013


16051 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yeah, they started out as punk and expanded just a bit with Elva, and went straight-up alt. rock on this release.



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