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Take The World
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Unwritten Law
Feb 2002

San Diego-area power-pop/punk band Unwritten Law is in the radio.wazee spotlight this week with "Seein' Red" from their fourth album, the Interscope release "Elva."

Unwritten Law hail from Poway, an upper-middle-class San Diego suburb that's best known for being the home turf of close friends Blink-182 (in Blink-182's single "Josie," when Mark Hoppus sings "My girlfriend likes UL," he's referring to Unwritten Law). The band formed early in the ‘90s when the members met at a Southern California continuation school. After going through 16 different members, and drummer Wade Youman the only holdover from the band's early days, 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" (named after Russo’s home where they practiced) on an independent label, Unwritten Law toured America several times but grew disgusted by the lack of distribution of their records. They eventually signed to Epic, which re-released "Blue Room," and in 1996 issued their second album, "Oz Factor." The group jumped labels yet again in 1997, to Interscope, and recorded their third, self-titled album in 1998. Just before its release in June of that year, Bell left and was replaced by San Diego band Sprung Monkey's Pat Kim.

Guitarist Brewer says that with "Elva," the band didn't stick to the three-chord punk tunes they've built their career on. "It's definitely a little different," Brewer said. "I can't really explain how; it's just more of a rock record and there's more material. We're stoked on it." The album has more complex instrumentation and a more mature vibe than the group's past work, said Brewer. Contributing to the group's harder sound was producer John Shanks, who has played guitar for Melissa Etheridge and Beth Hart and who has produced songs for British boy band BBMak.



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