Unwritten Law Here's to the Mourning

What started out as a SoCal melodic pop-punk band in the early ’90s has morphed into something else entirely. The band’s fifth album finds the quintet retracing the steps they took on 2002’s Elva — that is away from the bouncy, aggressive punk of their first few releases and into more metallic Papa Roach territory. Under the guidance of producer Sean Beavan (No Doubt, Guns N’ Roses, Marilyn Manson), they incorporate generally slower tempos and little flourishes of electronic drums and effects to enhance their sound (most noticeably on "Because of You” and "I Like the Way”). But the end result is just a little too slick for their own good. While not as crassly commercial as Elva, it’s nowhere near as consistently good as 1998’s self-titled release. (Warner)