Sunday 13 Jul
 
 

Next big thing

As far as songs go, few prove as challenging to sing as our national anthem.

It’s a technically demanding tune from first note to last, to be sure, beginning with a low bellow that quickly soars toward star-punching high notes, eventually swelling to a show-stopping crescendo that even the most seasoned performer can have trouble mastering.

07/09/2014 | Comments 0

Sheriff Woody

Woody Guthrie Folk Festival featuring Jimmy LaFave, Arlo Guthrie and more

Wednesday through Sunday

Okemah

woodyguthrie.com

Free

07/09/2014 | Comments 0

California dreamin’

Modern Pantheist with The Wurly Birds and Larry Chin

9 p.m. Sunday

Blue Note Lounge 

2408 N. Robinson Ave.

thebluenotelounge.com

600-1166

$5

07/02/2014 | Comments 0

Major League tunes

Chipper Jones with The Hitt Boyz, Foxburrows and Milk Jr

8 p.m. Saturday

VZD’s Restaurant & Club

4200 N. Western Ave.

vzds.com

524-4200

07/02/2014 | Comments 0

Neon colors

Utah-based rockers Neon Trees spent a hot summer night setting fire to Tulsa’s legendary Cain’s Ballroom on June 19. Rounding out the aural palette were Smallpools, a lively L.A. powerhouse, and Nightmare and the Cat, a cadre of black-clad Brit/American alt-rockers. Neon Trees’ latest record, Pop Psychology, was the night’s flux capacitor, transporting all who were willing to a neon-soaked parallel universe.
06/25/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Reviews · Rock · Unwritten Law — Swan
Rock
 

Unwritten Law — Swan


Do you miss rock in '02? You'll love this.

Stephen Carradini April 1st, 2011

You never really forget your first love, and my initial musical passion was turn-of-the-millenium pop-punk like Blink-182 and Sum 41.

unwrittenlaw

The guitars were as much inspired by modern rock and metal tones as they were pop-rock, and that fine balance of heavy and pop intrigued me.

Unwritten Law was in that mix as well; where other bands have hung up their laces (or, in the case of Blink, tossed their shoes around in the air to taunt all its listeners), Unwritten Law has just kept unwriting.

Their latest effort, “Swan,” appeals to “now” me because it would have massively appealed to “then” me. Unwritten Law has changed exactly zero elements of their sound in crafting “Swan,” and that means that you’re gonna love this or hate this. The only update of the sound whatsoever is Killers-esque synth on “Nevermind,” but the snotty vocal tone and the chanting delivery call up “Take Off Your Pants and Jacket” so much that the modern element is almost negated.

“Starships and Apocalypse” is the radio single, and it’s really a radio single; “Dark Days” may have actually been written as the second single (it’s that obvious). Obligatory acoustic track “Sing” is actually incredibly pretty. “Chicken (Ready to Go)” features Del the Funky Homosapien, hearkening back to times where people actually made true rap-rock (whoa). The power ballad sucks in a completely overblown way, as fans of this genre expect (and, honestly, look forward to a little bit). Closer “Swan Song” has charging guitars, metallic bass tone, tidy mixing and an overall feel of 2002.

Unwritten Law has stuck to its guns and crafted a collection of songs they like, critics be damned. It’s easy for veteran acts to write good songs when no one’s looking over the members’ shoulders, and that’s what has happened here.  

I spent one of my favorite high school summers driving around my hometown with my friends listening to Blink-182’s self-titled on repeat. “Swan” could have easily been the soundtrack to that summer. That’s high praise.

 
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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