4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Unwritten Law

In 2002, someone planted some homemade bombs — dry-ice sealed in plastic jugs — at the apartment of Unwritten Law guitarist Steve Morris. MTV’s website said that the bombing was the result of a feud between Morris and a neighbor over noise coming from the guitarist’s apartment. Morris suffered a concussion and temporary hearing loss from the blast, damage enough to pull the plug on a number of shows. This is the worst thing that has happened to Unwritten Law, but that’s not saying much: this is a band that got kicked off one of the Warped Tours for inciting a crowd-level food fight and on another occasion caused thousands of dollars in damage to a home they were renting.

San Diego was home to a strong punk-pop scene in the early 1990s, and Unwritten Law, blink-182, and Sprung Monkey were among the biggest players. Each band, to varying degrees, got national attention. Like blink, Unwritten Law was a Poway band with sophisticated songwriting skills and a worldview made-to-order for Vans and Warped tours. They nailed the concept of the three-minute power ballad and had a hit early on with “Seein’ Red” and, later, “Up All Night.”

There was a formula behind that music: sensitive vocals and scorching guitars playing big, orgiastic power chords at the chorus. Guitar solos were avoided. A surprise: every so often, Unwritten Law lyrics would shed some insight into life situations. “And nothin’ matters/ ’Cause there’s no one here/ And I’ve lost my fear.” That’s from “Teenage Suicide,” and hardly the sort of progressive Jungian thinking one might expect from a band of pleasure seekers. Live and Lawless from 2008 is the band’s best record by far. And proof, I think, that like all party units, Unwritten Law is best experienced live.

UNWRITTEN LAW: House of Blues, Sunday, December 20, 7 p.m. 619-299-2583. $20.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Five from the Fourth Annual Joyce Forum Jewish Short Film Festival

Short and sweet and sour
Next Article

Betty Broderick's version of killing her husband

The ideal marriage, the stellar law career, the trial, jail life

In 2002, someone planted some homemade bombs — dry-ice sealed in plastic jugs — at the apartment of Unwritten Law guitarist Steve Morris. MTV’s website said that the bombing was the result of a feud between Morris and a neighbor over noise coming from the guitarist’s apartment. Morris suffered a concussion and temporary hearing loss from the blast, damage enough to pull the plug on a number of shows. This is the worst thing that has happened to Unwritten Law, but that’s not saying much: this is a band that got kicked off one of the Warped Tours for inciting a crowd-level food fight and on another occasion caused thousands of dollars in damage to a home they were renting.

San Diego was home to a strong punk-pop scene in the early 1990s, and Unwritten Law, blink-182, and Sprung Monkey were among the biggest players. Each band, to varying degrees, got national attention. Like blink, Unwritten Law was a Poway band with sophisticated songwriting skills and a worldview made-to-order for Vans and Warped tours. They nailed the concept of the three-minute power ballad and had a hit early on with “Seein’ Red” and, later, “Up All Night.”

There was a formula behind that music: sensitive vocals and scorching guitars playing big, orgiastic power chords at the chorus. Guitar solos were avoided. A surprise: every so often, Unwritten Law lyrics would shed some insight into life situations. “And nothin’ matters/ ’Cause there’s no one here/ And I’ve lost my fear.” That’s from “Teenage Suicide,” and hardly the sort of progressive Jungian thinking one might expect from a band of pleasure seekers. Live and Lawless from 2008 is the band’s best record by far. And proof, I think, that like all party units, Unwritten Law is best experienced live.

UNWRITTEN LAW: House of Blues, Sunday, December 20, 7 p.m. 619-299-2583. $20.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Five from the Fourth Annual Joyce Forum Jewish Short Film Festival

Short and sweet and sour
Next Article

Ralph + Advil = “Radvil”

Kwillipers would be a pretty cool name for a cat
Comments
1

If you like Unwritten Law, then check us out! We are Monkeys In Space, a young rock/punk/blues band also from Poway, Ca. we play ballsy rock with heart.

Give us a listen, come out and review us!

Johnny M.I.S.

myspace.com/themonkeysrock monkeysmusic.com

Dec. 28, 2009

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close