LAW ‘There and Back Again’ album review
Hailing from Los Angeles County, LAW is making their own unique mark in the rock world with their forthcoming album, There and Back Again. Drawing from the same bloodline as late Sublime lead singer, Bradley Nowell, Jakob Nowell has created a new sound with his band using their musical influences stemming from Incubus, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Tool and Alice in Chains. LAW blends distorted guitar riffs, ska rhythms and thrashing drums of heavy rock to ultimately create an album filled with musical surprises.
LAW blends distorted guitar riffs, ska rhythms and thrashing drums of heavy rock to ultimately create an album filled with musical surprises.
Jakob Nowell (singer), Nick Aguilar (drums), Aidan Palacios (guitar) and Logun Spellacy (bass) created a rock album with an unapologetic sound not adhering to any standard other than to make music that speaks to themselves and their fans. Their single “Cold” is the band’s unique approach to ska music; using thunderous basslines and Nowell’s wailing vocals (similar to that of ska band Reel Big Fish), the final product incorporates head banging drums as well as guitar solos typically heard in rock songs.
Despite their single being closer to ska-reggae than rock, do not let that fool you – the album is very much a rock album! In many ways, LAW pays homage to an array of rock subgenres that came before them by applying fast-paced tempos in songs like “Untitled” and “Dose of Psychosis” or melancholy tempos to match the tones heard in Nowell's voice in songs like “Aidan's Song” or “Autumn Light”. Plus, having the album recorded at Joshua Tree's renowned Rancho De La Luna studio by Eagles of Death Metal guitarist Dave Catching, then mixed and mastered by punker Mic "Dangerously" De La Torre (formerly of Zen Robbi) back at Costa Mesa's 17th Street Recording Studios definitely gives it an edge like no other. A lot of music history made between those two joints!
Lyrically, the band has a mix of light-heartedness, best exemplified in songs like “Kaizoku” or “Cold”, to more serious themes such as temporaryism, love and loss. “Untitled” is the first song on the album, opening with intro lyrics that deal with rising above: “If you are lucky to have a choose // If you are lucky enough to have a say and if you are strong enough to think clearly // Rise if you could.” One can hear the influence of bands like System of a Down and Alice in Chains with their fast-paced intro and melodic progressions.
LAW is the revival of rock music that we all need.
One unexpected beauty found on this album is their song, “Blinking". This song may have been an unintentional emo anthem, having a much softer tone than the rest of the tracks and touching upon more emotional topics than the rest: “These days, it's hard for me to cry // Never know the reasons why // These things seem so hard to describe.” On the other hand, "Aidan’s Song" is definitely an ode to classic 90s rock music, with a melodic guitar progression and heavy sounding guitar solo accompanied with an elision of thrashing drums and bass at the end of the song. Similar sounding to heavy rock bands like Tool, Nowell shows of his vocal ability by showing off his falsetto range.
LAW is the revival of rock music that we all need. Refreshing, young and with smartly crafted lyrics, LAW is not only a reflection of modern youth culture, but also an example of a band that could create their own sound within the rock genre. There and Back Again will be available on all digital outlets as of November 23rd and now available for pre-order via PledgeMusic. Pre-order up your copy today and catch the boys on tour this fall while you wait!
Pre-order There and Back Again album:
- Doses of Psychosis
- Autumn Light
- Aidan's Song
- Logun's Run
- The Doom
LAW "Cold" official music video:
Disclaimer: All views presented in this album review are those of the reviewer and not necessarily those of Top Shelf Reggae.