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Unwritten Law - The Hit List (Cover Artwork)

Unwritten Law

Unwritten Law: The Hit ListThe Hit List (2007)
Rocket Science

Reviewer Rating: 3
User Rating:


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

Sort of in the vein of MxPx's 2002 retrospective Ten Years and Running, long-running skatepunks-turned-radio-rock-slobs Unwritten Law offers up 17 songs spanning their entire catalog in completely re-recorded form, along with two new ones. Think of The Hit List as the band playing lots of fan favori.
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Sort of in the vein of MxPx's 2002 retrospective Ten Years and Running, long-running skatepunks-turned-radio-rock-slobs Unwritten Law offers up 17 songs spanning their entire catalog in completely re-recorded form, along with two new ones. Think of The Hit List as the band playing lots of fan favorites at a current show, but cleaned up by studio production. Yeah, I'm basically that mixed about this thing.

First, the new tunes. "Shoulda Known Better"'s verses, like the band's last abomination, are repulsive, laying down embarrassingly rapped lines surrounding a snarling, vaguely Billy Idol-esque chorus. Needless to say it doesn't open The Hit List strongly, but "Welcome to Oblivion" picks things up a little; it has a big but not overacting chorus and the song is overall thankfully more reminiscent of the sharp pop-rock of 2002's Elva.

Obviously, the re-recordings of the band's more recent material ("Celebration Song," "Save Me," "Seein' Red," etc.) do not sound entirely different from their original versions, but in this context are much easier to intake -- in fact, despite glossy studio tinge, are somewhat enjoyable because of the inclusion of the band's better album cuts. What is a little strange is to hear 2007's Unwritten Law performing tracks now growing old in their stable of songs. It's obviously a little disappointing to hear what fans regard as classics ("Superman") stripped of their raw energy, but the consistent production makes the album rather linear, "correcting" the inevitable annoyance of the compilation "habit" that provides the listener with Mark Trombino one moment and Mark Tincan the next.

Unfortunately, The Hit List is hard to recommend as a starting point for one looking for an overview from which to reap the benefits of the band's back catalog, as they're obviously going to find a much different recording style from a much "less privileged" era upon discovering the actual album a song is "interpreted" from. However, fans having stuck with the band through their evolution should be rather psyched to receive such a consistent and generally enjoyable, generously wide-spanning compilation.

The Hit List proves Unwritten Law has assuredly morphed into a sometimes capable pop-rock unit with shades of `90s punk influence, and that despite an awful recent misstep, there's some hooks left in the tacklebox that haven't dulled quite yet -- and some others that can still be reused after all.

STREAM
Shoulda Known Better
Up All Night
Cailin
Superman

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Rise Against - The Sufferer & the WitnessRancid - ... And Out Come The WolvesRise Against - Siren Song Of The Counter CultureBad Religion - The Dissent of ManSum 41 - ChuckBad Religion - The Empire Strikes FirstGreen Day - 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy HoursGreen Day - DookieGreen Day - InsomniacUnwritten Law - Elva

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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.
Anonymous (January 25, 2007)

this cd is fucking amazing..i love everything about it,..this guy who reviews is full of shiit!

the_ken_chin_imposter (January 23, 2007)

I heard CD has between song segways by Tarzan Dan.

Anonymous (January 22, 2007)

I love the re-recorded versions of the Oz Factor and Blue Room songs!! I would have liked to see more! And I don't see why they needed to re-record the songs from the self-titled album, those songs were already great!

Anonymous (January 22, 2007)

im going to see unwritten law soon for old times sake, and there playing with pluss 44 which will be my closest atempt to see blink 182. at least 2 thirds anyway, i wish unwritten law went back to there skate punk days

Anonymous (January 21, 2007)

awful, that should have known better is complete trash, sounds like they are trying to be linkin park or somethinf? couldn't listen to anything else

aaronfromsweden (January 21, 2007)

This album definetly deserves a higher score in my humble opinion. Not every band takes the time to actually re-record all the songs they're putting up on their best of-comp. I love these re-recordings!! Better sound quality, and some of the songs are (if possible) even better than the originals. Love it!

Anonymous (January 20, 2007)

Same guy from below. Does anyone else notice the similarities between "How You Feel" and "D'yer Maker?"

Anonymous (January 20, 2007)

I really like the re-recorded songs. They sound great. Snicker all you want, but UL were one of the first punk bands I got into back in junior high. Blue Room and Oz Factor are the shit. I'll always have a place for them. Props.

Anonymous (January 20, 2007)

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahah ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahaha

Anonymous (January 20, 2007)

The self-titled is an essential album. I had a dream the other night about some shitty emo band covering "Coffin Text." No lie.

SilentStorms (January 20, 2007)

I used to love this band during the early 00's, but their new shit was just that ... complete shit. I think I moved past these guys when I started hating pop-punk. Good review though!

Anonymous (January 19, 2007)

"MORON ALERT. The reason the Here's To The Mourning tracks don't sound "that much different" is because they did not re-record them."

I have no idea, but if they had to re-record songs due to rights issues, it would make sense that that album would also have been involved with the rights debacle.

again, i have no idea, or care. this band went wonky 2-3 albums ago.

wyzo

Anonymous (January 19, 2007)

how can this band seriously have a "greatest hits" release? seriously? anyone? didn't they draft in songwriters to do some stuff for them?

Anonymous (January 19, 2007)

make a new GOOD album already or throw in the towel. elva was so good, heres to the mourning suckssssssss

SloaneDaley (January 19, 2007)

score is for Billy Idol

Anonymous (January 19, 2007)

i already wrote it on my burned copy of this poop

Anonymous (January 19, 2007)

the "shit" list ......i'm sorry, someone had to say it.

the_other_scott (January 19, 2007)

blue room, a word from the wise, and recipe for hate were teh first three punk tapes i ever owned

these guys introduced me to punk rock. CPK is still a killer track.

inagreendase (January 19, 2007)

MORON ALERT. The reason the Here's To The Mourning tracks don't sound "that much different" is because they did not re-record them.

Take it up with Interpunk, then;

"Rather, the guys have re-recorded and reinterpreted all 17 "greatest hits" tracks..."

Anonymous (January 19, 2007)

these guys suck more than the new orleans saints are gonna suck it on sunday at soldier field! and thats a lot! daaaaaaaaaaaa bears!

Anonymous (January 19, 2007)

welcome to oblivion was a pleasant surprise...I hope for a future release they aim to writing songs in its style.

as far as the hit list, I found it to be pretty solid. my personal favorites are lonesome, cailin, and shallow. the new versions of what I consider the bands three best songs blow the original versions out of the water.

hopefully the band isn't finished quite yet and has another album left in them.

Anonymous (January 19, 2007)

MORON ALERT. The reason the Here's To The Mourning tracks don't sound "that much different" is because they did not re-record them. This review sucks.

Anonymous (January 19, 2007)

i don't know how many times I gotta say it but this bands best stuff is everything Elva and prior. The song harmonic rocks. and the band is great live, when scott doesn't play guitar. The end.

Anonymous (January 19, 2007)

pretty shitty. almost all the rerecordings sound much worse. this version of cpk isn't bad though.

Anonymous (January 19, 2007)

Brian is a pretentious douchebag.

historypeats (January 19, 2007)

He's just confused - there was another greatest hits collection that their old label DID release as a cash grab.

maverick (January 19, 2007)

Dude below me is wrong. UL released this themselves.

-Scott

Anonymous (January 19, 2007)

The label did it as a cash grab and to fulfill the album agreement. Unwritten Law aren't happy about this release.

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