More of a power-pop band than anything else, though they're nestled in Southern California's skate/snowboard punk scene, Unwritten Law formed early in the 1990s, with drummer Wade Youman the only holdover from the band's early days. The group eventually coalesced around vocalist Scott Russo, guitarists Rob Brewer and Steve Morris, bassist John Bell and Youman.
After releasing their debut Blue Room on an independent label, Unwritten Law toured America several times but grew disgusted by the lack of distribution of their records. The quartet eventually signed to Epic, which re-released Blue Room and in 1996 issued their second album, Oz Factor. The group jumped labels yet again in 1997, to Interscope, and recorded their third album in 1998. Just before its release in June of that year, Bell left and was replaced by Sprung Monkey's Pat Kim. Three years later, the band inked a deal with Interscope and issued their third full-length Elva in early 2002. Debut single "Seein' Red" was a hit among TRL and mainstream radio.
Before the year came to a close, Unwritten Law inked a major deal with Lava Records. The largely acoustic Music in High Places followed in early 2003. Recorded on location at Yellowstone National Park, the album was part of MTV's Music From High Places series, a sort of National Geographic Explorer for the Warped Tour set. While the band started recording their fifth studio effort in 2004, Tony Palermo (Pulley, The Jealous Sound) replaced Wade Youman on drums. The Sean Beavan-produced Here's to the Mourning followed in February 2005.