Lyricists: Scott Russo; Aimee Allen; Phil Jamieson.
Unwritten Law: Pat Kim (bass guitar); Scott Russo, Steve Morris, Rob Brewer, Tony Palermo.
Personnel: Scott Russo (vocals, guitar); Steve Morris (guitar, background vocals); Rob Brewer (guitar); Tom Vos (violin); John Krovoza (cello); Adrian Young, Tony Palermo (drums); Ben Rosen (programming).
Additional personnel: Adrian Young, Ben Rosen.
Audio Mixer: Sean Beavan.
Recording information: Glenwood Place Studios, Burbank, CA; Ocean Recording Studios, Burbank, CA; Pulse Studio, Hollywood, CA; Royaltone Studio, Burbank, CA; Sound Wherehouse, Sherman Oaks, CA; The Blue Room, Laurel Canyon, CA.
Illustrator: John Gill.
Photographer: Ian Jennings.
Given how much Unwritten Law has bounced around between labels, the band acquired enough experience under its collective belt to make the solid execution of its fifth studio album, HERE'S TO THE MOURNING, come as no surprise. (The respect for UL's tenacious nature is such that No Doubt skinbasher Adrian Young checks in on drums for over half the album.) And although the first single, "Save Me (Wake Up Call)," has producer-in-demand Linda Perry's fingerprints over it, frontman and primary scribe Scott Russo still exhibits enough skill with his writing to have his group stand on its own merits.
Amid sinewy Alice in Chains-like rhythms and booming riffs provided by guitarists Steve Morris and Rob Brewer, Russo sings of nihilism ("Get Up"), devilish women ("Slow Dance") and broken friendships ("Rejections Cold"). The great thing about this California quintet is how it consistently goes off the beaten path, be it the combination of Donnas-like chanting vocals, metal guitar, and swirling synths on the relentless "F.I.G.H.T." or the orchestrated elegance of "Walrus," a surprisingly endearing Beatles tribute.