Unwritten Law - Elva (Cover Artwork)

Unwritten Law

Unwritten Law: ElvaElva (2002)
Universal Music Group

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:

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

Every now and again you get a band that combines different levels of music with different levels of emotion. Sometimes you get a beautiful constructive harmonic tone, and sometimes you get a destructive interference not suitable for the deaf. Both amazingly, and sadly, this album has a lot of the .
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Every now and again you get a band that combines different levels of music with different levels of emotion. Sometimes you get a beautiful constructive harmonic tone, and sometimes you get a destructive interference not suitable for the deaf. Both amazingly, and sadly, this album has a lot of the former and a bit of the latter. There are a majority of tracks on here that simply blow your mind. The hard guitar, the gentle vocals, and the mind-turning lyrics all form "Elva." This is their newest release since 1998.

"Elva" hits us with all sorts of styles. We have the unbelievable "Seein' Red" that I must say is reminiscent to the days of "Cailin" which was also a favorite of mine. This song has soft verses with choruses that pick it up just enough to lull you back to the next portion of the song. It flows with flawless perfection and a rhythm that will get to you. Next we have "Sound Siren" which has an upbeat flow with lyrics running the opposite way. From beginning to end this is a great song. "Rescue Me" has a harder rhythm to it that I guarantee will get you moving. Hell, by the second or third time you hear this you will probably catch yourself singing along and bobbing your head. "Up All Night" follows the same flow with a fun lyrical content. "Actress? Model?" is a song that just has no description. It?s a great song and I simply don?t know why. I would try to explain it but I?m afraid I?ll get it wrong and it deserves more justice than that. "How You Feel" is a softer song that I think will make many a mix. This song is true to life. Listen to the lyrics, you?ll agree. "It's Alright" has a beautiful slide/flanger effect with the guitar during the verses that just catches you and pulls you along. It's kinda sappy, but that's life. Life isn't just action/adventure with comedy and the occasional thriller, it's also romance with sappy love scenes that make even the strongest person fall to their knees in a fit of tears. Life is sad and happy, meaningful and meaningless, etc. Life is oxymoronic and the more people realize that, the more they begin to respect the music they hear. "Geronimo" is the softest song on the album and it's a good song, just kinda drags. Now we get into harder songs like "Babylon" which is edgy but the lyrics don?t have the same 'sense'. However, the music is still fun. "Blame it on Me" is a good song. It doesn?t have the same flow as the others but it is faster and the effort is there. "Evolution" has a reggae feel to it and is completely different from the other songs. I like it for that reason. The other songs are different, but this is another extreme. "Hellborn" is a harder song but the harmony makes it something else. Personally, I don't care for this song, will listen to it, but will also skip over it without any fear of release. "Mean Girl?"is a neat song. I can't say I love it, but it's better than "Hellborn." It seems repetitive at points but not without first giving something good to repeat. As for the other filler tracks they are nice but not needed on the track list. "Raligh Part IV", "Raligh Part V", "Raligh Part VI", and "nick and phil" are those filler few second tracks. They are neat, but shouldn't be on the tracklist to make it 17 when it's really 13.

So, all in all this is a great album, buy it when it comes out, find it before, whatever. Get it. Especially if you liked the past Unwritten law albums. The way this album flows is unreal and will get you moving. It will take a long time before you get tired of it, then you will want to listen to it again. I would have given Elva a 9 for a few tracks that weren't to my liking and the 4 filler tracks. However, barring those exceptions, the songs are so well written and so much fun to listen to that this is a 10 and I will listen to this album until I die and hope you do too.


People who liked this also liked:
Bad Religion - SufferRancid - ... And Out Come The WolvesBad Religion - No ControlDescendents - Milo Goes To CollegeNOFX - Punk In DrublicAlkaline Trio - GoddamnitPennywise - All or NothingLess Than Jake - Hello RockviewThe Offspring - SmashThe Offspring - Conspiracy of One

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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.
quin (February 25, 2008)

nice cd

Anonymous (April 3, 2004)

how could anyone say that all the songs on this cd sound the same? every track is so different from the previous. who the fuck cares if they aren't "punk?" they are fucking incredible and combine so many different styles into their music. this album is pretty much flawless. some people on this website just make me realize again how the majority of people are just plain stupid. why don't you like this album? it's not punk enough. its not fast enough. its not as edgy. fuck you.

allistar (September 8, 2003)

thankyou thankyou thankyou
this is the first review of elva (that i have read) that actually does it justice. This album is fucking awesome i think the band put so much into this deciding not to make a replica of previous albums and pushing the boundries. I hear alot of people saying that this album was the end for them, but i think people have to stop being so narrow minded, i mean fair enough if you just simply dont like the album. I have been a ul fan since the blue room and i loved that album for what it was back then but music has to grow and change otherwise it wouldnt be real.

Anonymous (August 8, 2003)

Hey...I have to agree not every song is that smashing. But more than half are. I have liked ul since my big bro got me into them. I have an ear...just as much as everyone else. Punk has for sure become a corporate driven machine. It's not ever going to be the same...just let this major label shit go....for gods sake...its just fucking music. I hate huge corporations just as much as the next "punk"...but I bet half of you punks drive nice cars and have great houses...GROW UP!!!!Unwritten law plays fucking sweet live shows...I love their music...and I love punk. Punk is what it is these days....and unwritten law does a fucking great job as always!!! In my opinion...I think the younger kids will like ul...I am 22....I have listened to the same bullshit since I was 15. It's music. Don't lie about what you like you fucking circle jerks...I bet you all listened to blink before and liked it. "oh but I listen to rancid and thats punk...ummm ok"....PUNK PUNK PUNK(whos on a major label now....and who the fuck cares...they all are if you can get a copy at the mall, or best buy) oh well...fuck it... UL A FINE NINE!
Music is coo*

soulbleed (February 20, 2003)

this cd sucks. nothing more to say.

evilash (November 17, 2002)

whoops my score was 1 star

evilash (November 17, 2002)

Hey this band went straight to the shitter with this album. and oh my god so horrbile live......uggggh

Anonymous (August 31, 2002)

UL used to be aight... anyways, what the fuck is with the guy who said frenzal sucks? they are one of my favorite bands, and australia is way cooler than the usa. kapeesh?

Anonymous (June 15, 2002)

Average. Very Average. Far from being a bad record, but even firther from being a good record

Anonymous (May 25, 2002)

i don't know how the SHIT this guy could give this record 5 stars... i bought this cd and i swear if i could wipe my ass with it i would. i've never been sooo disapointed in a cd before... aside from the catchy single they have on the radio, there's only one more song on that cd that's worth a damn.

CallingLondon (February 9, 2002)

it's funny how everyone bashing this CD says they sound "alternative". could someone explain to me what "alternative" sounds like? You can't be talking about Nirvana's sound, even tho they were what people called "alternative" back in '92, because they were a mix of metal and punk. I have a feeling one person at the beginning said that, and everyone else saw that and said "oh, i'll say that too!" I haven't heard this CD, but I loved the Black album, and I'm pretty sure i'll like this one too when i hear it.

Anonymous (February 9, 2002)

Unwritten Law was one of the bands that got me into punk music, way back in the day.... but I have to admit this album is pretty wimpy. Well what I've heard of it. When I go back and listen to their last album, it sounds a little bit wimpy to me too.

I'm not suprised that this album has turned out this way... it has no edge, the lyrics are nothing special. Just another Sum 41 I guess. Another pop-rock-pesudo-punk-alternative band.

Anonymous (February 9, 2002)

personally I find these guys to be a painfully bland alternative band. But that's beside the point. How is it these albums can get a ten? so many albums seem to get a ten on this site. not to be nitpicky about it, but come on, I would think the highest score is for an album that's classic in one way or another not just a good album.

Anonymous (February 9, 2002)

Why is the person who gives it a 1 always Anonymous? Maybe its the same person giving the same review to the same album. I saw Unwritten Law back in 2000 and they rocked. When I pick up this album im sure it will rock.

Anonymous (February 9, 2002)

This is not the Unwritten Law I've grown to know and love. The lyrics on "Elva" are horrible. It seems that Scott Russo has put no thought into the writing process of this album. I think it is also very redundant, it seems to me that every song sounds the same. This album has made me wonder why I even liked this band in the first place.

Anonymous (February 1, 2002)

How come every punk band who goes mainstream always tries to sound like alternative and not punk? Are all the punk bands too afriad that they'll be ridiculed if they release a punk song to the radio? I mean, why not realease something totally off the wall just for shits and giggles? If Leftover Crack or some band like that went mainstream, it would be HILARIOUS. It's not going mainstream or making money that's evil, it's changing yourself when you go mainstream and the love of money that's evil.

Anonymous (February 1, 2002)

the album with harmonic was very good but this one is 0

Anonymous (January 31, 2002)

I saw a video for one of the songs on this album on MTV! They suck now! It was like seeing hoobastank combined with sum-41! Unwriitan Law has lost their edge. This album is their worst.

SaYnE_GuY (January 30, 2002)

Blue Room was pisser!! Too bad the newer stuff bites....

travis (January 30, 2002)

grinspoon rocks. unwritten law... um, well i liked blue room, and a few songs from every cd. but their live show isnt all that good.

havent heard this album, so ill leave it at a 10 till i hear it.

Anonymous (January 30, 2002)

musical taste?????????????,dude when a band sucks there is no argument,there is only an argument when one sees some talent somewhere in the mix.suck=definition=these posers.

Anonymous (January 30, 2002)

Well fist of all i think Unwritten Law rock and i liked cailin and i like this album, although i dont like it as much as their self-titled. Its cool pop punk but with more punk and rock than blink and co., they especially dont have this strange sound that Sum Blink and others have, that make me think they use all the same guitars and amps with the same sound effects. I love Evolution by the way. And to the stupid people who write " i dont like those guys... i refuse to listen to them... they are on major..." , i only have to say one thing, you are so BLABLABLA. Get a life or a music taste, or at least learn how to use arguments, cause you are writing so much shit with no arguments, so what do you waste webspace anyway? No ones interested in an oppinion without a reason, this is a review, not an "read that i hate this band" forum. Suckers!

Anonymous (January 26, 2002)

i've had a promo copy of this for about 6 months.

sure, it rocks.
sure, it's cool.
sure, it's full of hard-edge riffs.
but i've heard them all before.

i'm convinced that there's some fatcat suit up in the record company office tower who's writing their songs for them. every song on the album sounds like a perfect mix of 10 bands i've heard before, from blink 182 to lit to fucking everything. completely unoriginal.

i like rock with balls. with strength.
this cd and this band are like a skinny little shit who was given steroids for a couple years and now he's a big, beautiful, impotent hunk of shit: convinced that he will win every bodybuilding contest MTV can throw at him during the after-school hours.

hopefully albums like this one will be one of the ones i've been hoping for. to finally topple labels like interscope's unquenchable thirst for money from ignorant, sad high school kids.

i wish this form offered a 0 rating.

ChrisGorman (January 26, 2002)

I'll probably get this at some point. Their last CD was good for the fist half (except for that song "Cailin"), and I find myself really curious about this disc. Maybe I'll get lucky and find it used, or the store I work for will get a promo copy.

Anonymous (January 26, 2002)

I can't believe I used to not hate this band. If I'd only known that they would turn into this, I'd have killed them when I had the chance. Seriously, some of the most boring pop rock I've heard in a long time.

Anonymous (January 25, 2002)

This band and this album rock amazingly hard and well. Fuck your sound.

Anonymous (January 25, 2002)

These guys suck.

Anonymous (January 23, 2002)

I refuse to listen to this album for one simple reason: I don't like the lead singer. He is a sleaze, and a shithead. Frenzal are a quality band and Grinspoon aren't that shite, but 28 Days suck major portions of ass. Unwritten Law suck and I will never listen to this album. I would give it a 0 but the thing doesn't go that low.

Anonymous (January 22, 2002)

haha grinspoon sux
all most as much as frenzal
who sux all most as much as 28 days

poor Australia

long live the BLISTER!!!

Anonymous (January 22, 2002)

I give this a 7 because of a few reasons:

1. The songs that do rock, really do rock...like Seein Red and Geronimo (my personal favourite).

2. The songs that just arent as good as anything they have done before are the first track and some of the harder ones...if you know who Grinspoon are then (sorry...australia wasn't to blame for them..we barely like them) you will know where these tunes come from...they sound like old grinspoon songs

3. If they ditched the commentary from Grinspooon (the track Nick & Phil) and some of the less melodic tracks it would be a 10

4. They toured here not long ago, I saw them, they played 3 songs off the new CD...and just about all of black...it seemed like they wanted to play the old ones cause they werent sure how the new stuff would go down

Overall the good songs are great and the others sound a bit shite...i couldnt listen to this until i die, ive had it 2 months and i dont think i could listen to it for a while again.

Anonymous (January 22, 2002)

Why does the world continually forget that unwritten law rocks? alternative fucking whatever. when bad religion was on the corporate they were alternative. fucking all of indie rock is what originally inspired the alternative movement anyway. from what i've heard this cd pretty much rocks, and this review does it justice. fuck closed mindedness, oh, and you.

-chimerical burst

p.s. destructive interference is a sound which is either quieter than the sounds which created it, or even no sound at all. therefore, it is both suitable for the deaf and the hearing.

Anonymous (January 21, 2002)

I honestly don't understand how one could give this album 5 stars. This is just alternative rock crap. I don't hear the punk influences and really wish that they could have stuck to their style of the past. I loved their self-titled (though my musical tastes have changed GREATLY since I listened to this album), and really think this was a change for the worse. Change is good. Necessary, even, but the direction these boys went just doesn't float my boat.

punk_kid (January 21, 2002)

i cant get into these guys, especially not this album

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