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July 24, 2024

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Unwritten Law
Music In High Places (Lava Records)

By: Vinnie Apicella

The San Diego Punk-based Pop Rockers saunter in the sun for this slowed up strummed down version of their past, highlighted for the popular MTV "Music In High Places" series, showcasing, effectively, the skull beneath the skin or bare boned facts that behind the extracurricular rage and age of distort, lurks a well founded and talented band. The eleven tunes follow most of UL's previous four records but laying heavily on last year's "Elva" favorite including subtle and stormy versions of "Seein' Red," "Up All Night" and a rollin', tumblin' version of their "Blame It On Me" with full forestry effects and campfire callouts compliments of the vastness of their conditional Yellowstone outing. At one with nature, Unwritten Law joins the ranks of Sugar Ray, India Arie, and Alanis Morrissette as spotlighted participants of the show, placing said artists in calm and scenic surroundings powered only by a love of playing sans artificial flavors, colors, or preservative effects to ruin the purity factor. Leaving a resounding trail of acoustic vapor the songs resonate with a previously unrealized richness to refresh a receptive listening palate long after the sun sets in the valley. While "Unplugged" exploits have had their successful runs in the past, "High Places" is a distinctive live performance without reflective room bred acoustics or fan friendly feedback, instead finding the band au natural, revisiting the point of entry and doubtlessly providing a new point of reference from there. Other tracks like the fired up "Rescue Me" or the mellower moments of "Elva" and "Shallow" reveal a sensitive and skilled set of players that move freely from frenetic to folksy, Simple Plan to STP without losing the edge and inspiration that got them this far.
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