San Diego-area power-pop/punk band
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
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.