Down By Law - Last of the Sharpshooters (Cover Artwork)

Down By Law

Down By Law: Last of the SharpshootersLast of the Sharpshooters (1997)
Epitaph Records

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:

Contributed by: coldjulycoldjuly
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Down by law have always been one of those bands who aren't afraid to try and incorporate different styles and elements into their music. But while never retaining the same style musically, They have always had this unique edge that has made them unmistakeable. I speak no less of this record. They.
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Down by law have always been one of those bands who aren't afraid to try and incorporate different styles and elements into their music. But while never retaining the same style musically, They have always had this unique edge that has made them unmistakeable.

I speak no less of this record. They have managed to amaze me once again, as only a few bands can over and over.

This was to be their last for Epitaph, and they sure as hell went out with a bang. This was a 7 year testament that shows this band has always been able to break down musical barriers and test the limits on modern punk rock.

On each DBL album the band has always seemed to (musically & lyrically) equal or top each record and this is an excellent example of that fact with the majority of my favorite Down by Law songs being from this record..."usa today" "burning heart" "question marks and periods" and "factory day just to name a few.

In the 2 years I've owned this great record, It has became a definite favorite of mine. Just some awesome musicianship that will leave the listener in awe. And to many people one of the most influential and innovative bands to come along in years.

I suggest you grab what DBL has released on epitaph...because rumor has it it's all going out of print soon. That, being the fact because the band left the label on pretty bad terms.

In my opinion, a flawless release by an fucking rad band that is always redefining themselves, and will continue to in the future.


People who liked this also liked:
Pennywise - PennywiseDescendents - Milo Goes To CollegeRancid - ... And Out Come The WolvesGrey Area - Grey AreaJawbreaker - UnfunDown By Law - BlueHot Water Music - Forever and CountingThe Mighty Mighty Bosstones - Question the AnswersALL - Mass NerderThe Clash - London Calling

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
cos (September 21, 2001)

i just scanned over your sum 41 review, and yeah it was pretty funny. of course, i'm guilty of the same kind of super-positive review--the only review i've done is for one of my favorite bands (Snuff--"Tweet Tweet My Lovely"). Of course, it was done solely because the only other review of the band was given a 1 star rating by someone i thought totally misunderstood their music, because they are a Fat band that doesn't sound like generic skate music.

in the same sense, i can't stop listening to the Rival Schools CD, but i don't want to review it because it will just be a string of glowing adjectives without telling anyone what its about. I suppose that by not writing, i'm just leaving that job up to someone else. These are the catch--22's of life...


coldjuly (September 20, 2001)

Well, I know we all have our own diversified opinion, This record was groundbreaking for me because Ive been a DBL fan since '91. The band was one of the sole influences that really got me into punk rock in the first place. Im not one of those die hard fans who would like a band no matter what kind of music they made...(because fly the flag was horrible)

And I agree about most reviews being really positive...but did you see my Sum 41 review??? My god, people took it so personally as if they were in the band themselves.

I think one's personal views are important in a review..and it seems thats what most disagree with me about.

but I respect your comment..and thank you for the clarification.

Anonymous (September 19, 2001)

strung out is only deserving of a 10. anything less would be uncivilized. down by law, however, is barely deserving of a 5.- fathead

cos (September 19, 2001)


i don't mean to slander you or pick on your reviews in particular. its just your two reviews really stood out to me as prime examples of what's wrong with the reviews pages (ie: all are incredibly positive)

I realize that punk is quite possibly the most subjective of all musical genres. these songs touch us in ways that few can relate, in ways that few other genres can. This music also often has such a power because it relates to each of us personally, at different stages in our lives. Sometimes, it doesnt' translate. I realize that i can not relate to the newest blink-182/nofx band out of orange county because i'm not a 15 year-old orange county kid.

likewise, i would hasten to post a 10 star review of Buck o' Nine's "Songs in the Key of Bree", Homemade's "As We Fall" or Strung Out's "Suburban Teenage Wasteland". They are all special albums to me, very important to me when i discovered them at 16. However, at 22 i can see that these are not classics of the genre. they are anthems of my youth, something that can't be translated or rationalized.

what i'm trying to say is that if you love an album, if you TRUELY think its the best thing in the genre, the best of its time, one that will ultimately stand the test of time, give me a reason to check it out. Say something besides broad generalizations like "musical prowess" and "the band's progression".

I know Down By Law pretty well (my roommate owns everything) and fuck all if "last of the sharpshooters" is much different than "all scratched up". Neither is any of their efforts particularly groundbreaking, and the last four records (from "punkrock.." to "fly the flag") essentially covered the same ground, over and over again. Dave Smalley is an accomplished guitar player and singer, but again, nothing too groundbreaking. His most creative days are probably behind him (i would be refering to Dag Nasty of course).

However, if you love this record, more power to you. But i have a hard time comprehending a 10 star review.

best regards,

Anonymous (September 19, 2001)

did anyone hear the cover of a specials song that the DBL singer did on that comp?

that was like the gayest thing ever

coldjuly (September 18, 2001)

Do you have a positive comment on anything??? jesus christ.

cos (September 18, 2001)

Are you kidding? Does anyone besides superfans write these things?

Down By Law is, at best, a mediocre 90's punk rock band. Diamond Dave and crew's obligatory "i hate everything on the radio" songs that he does on every fucking album are pretty lame, and most of the other songs are just biting the Who with a Clash attitude. Smalley has a good voice and he can play, but fuck all if he has anything interesting to say.

"last of the sharpshooters" is like most DBL albums: mostly filler, a few good rockin' songs. its worse than "all scratched up" and not nearly as fun as "punkrockacademyfightsong" and, well, does anybody even have "fly the flag?"


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