Review: Unwritten Law – Swan

Review: Unwritten Law – Swan

Unwritten Law – Swan
Track Listing:
1.) Starships and Apocalypse
2.) Nevermind
3.) Dark Days
4.) Last Chance
5.) Sing
6.) Superbad
7.) Let You Go
8.) Chicken (Ready to Go)
9.) On My Own
10.) Love Love Love
11.) Swan Song

The Pier Album Rating:

Label: Breaksilence Recordings/Suburban Noize Records
Release Date: March 29th, 2011

Artist Background:
Southern California’s UNWRITTEN LAW has become synonymous with the sounds of summer by releasing some of the most celebrated rock records of recent memory, touring the world to play for sold out crowds, holding the #1 slot on the Billboard Modern Rock charts and becoming a staple of the summer’s biggest festival, Vans Warped Tour. Not only have they become rock idols but also they have overcome pitfalls that would end the careers of most bands in order to remain relevant as others from the scene fade away. Now UNWRITTEN LAW has returned with SWAN, their sixth studio album released on Breaksilence Recordings/Suburban Noize Records.

Album Review:
With their first studio release since 2005’s Here’s to the Mourning, Unwritten Law soars into the sonic skies with Swan — a dynamic, 11-track album full of catchy and sexy aural layers that, when stripped down, reveal the flesh and blood of a hard rockin’ listening experience.

Swan gels together anthemic tracks like album openers Starships and Apocalypse and Nevermind –which feature the crashtastic, rhythmic drumming of Dylan Howard, wailing and distorted guitars of Steve Morris and Scott Russo as well as the heavy basslines of Pat Kim — with more-intimate serenades like the acoustic infused Sing and even a dose of hip hop on Chicken (Ready to Go), which features lyricals by Del The Funky Homosapien. All of this musicality creates an album that remains cohesive and works on its own terms.

In my opinion, Unwritten Law’s sixth album flows because the SoCal boys create a fiery, in-your-face feel that gives off a vibe of cool confidence in every track. As vocalist and frontman, Russo oozes with and maintains the band’s no-bulls#!t backbone, delivering brazen lyrics that bounce through the sonic air as he goes from singing raspy, sassy melodies to large, harmonic howls.

In various interviews and articles regarding UL’s latest release, it’s been stated that the band has been to hell and back in the last six years and were aiming to channel this into Swan. The overcoming adversity sentiment is blatant in the album’s lyrics and vibe with tracks alternating between a chaotic, tormented place, like in Dark Days, to a clearer, secure place of power, like in Let You Go.

The sentiment of going through and overcoming life’s pitfalls is wrapped up perfectly with the album enders, Love, Love, Love and Swan Song. Love, Love, Love, is a soft track that dances through the aural space, swooning on about the only thing that really matters in life–love. Swan Song takes listeners back to Unwritten Law’s bad boy lair of aggressive, dangerous rock featuring lyrics about living life and making decisions on your own terms, which is clearly the message the band is giving regarding where they are musically.

If you are expecting or desiring just a bunch of heavy and hard punk rock, then you probably won’t love, love, love Swan, but if you are a genuine music and rock lover and can appreciate a band spreading its wings and evolving its sound by adding a lot of sonic dimensions, Unwritten Law has done so with its latest release. Swan is great for parties or the drive out to and tailgates at any of the countless music festivals going down this spring and summer.

Written & Reviewed by:
Amber McDonald

[Editors Note: All reviews are reflective of the album in it’s entirety, from start to finish. These reviews are the honest opinion of each writer/reviewer, expressing their feedback as a genuine fan of the music. Each star rating reflects their review of the album, not the band. Music is subjective. Regardless of the review or star rating, we encourage you to listen to the music yourself & form your own opinion. Spread the awareness of all music in its art & contribution]