Unwritten Law just posted the first single, "Starships and Apocalypse," from their new album, Swan, on the their MySpace page. It's not bad, but it doesn't excite me the way "Superman," the first single from Oz Factor, their 1996 major label debut captivated me for months until the rest of the album came out. And yes, I realize that is a completely unfair comparison.
One of my first great finds in the "nobody wants it" collection in Studio B at WKPX is UL's 1994 full length debut, Blue Room, rereleased in 1995 after they signed to Epic. I can remember listening to the album over and over, it was fast and dissatisfied - the ideal punk record I was on the constant search for. I even excused lead singer Scott Russo for being too wasted to sing any words audibly when the band opened for Bad Religion and Dance Hall Crashers the next year in Fort Lauderdale.
Angsty about parents, girls, politics, people. From "CPK," what a way to start a record, to the heartfelt "Suzanne" to "Obsession," "Shallow" and "World War 3," UL was on it.
The band chose Bad Religion's Greg Graffin to produce it's second album, Oz Factor, which had the same feel and sound but much, much better production value because it was recorded at Graffin's own studio in Ithaca, New York. Whether it had the sound Epic wanted or not, Oz Factor, and solid tracks including "Superman," "Falling Down," "Tell Me Why," and a couple of rerecorded tracks from Blue Room turned UL into Warped Tour superstars.
From there to MTV success, the band changed a few members and changed their sound a bit. No shame, it just wasn't what I was feeling. I got progressively more bored listening to the albums that led up to their major breakthrough. On an urge, I've spent the last few days listening to almost nothing but Blue Room and Oz Factor, and somehow I think I'd enjoy those later ones a lot more.
Either way, those first two records stand up pretty well for anybody that was into skate punk in the mid-90s though.
Buy Unwritten Law's Oz Factor at Shockhound.
Blue Room is out of print. If I find somewhere to download it, I'll update the post. Man is that piss poor and disappointing.