Down By Law – Quick Hits – Live In Studio (Kung Fu Records / Cleopatra Records)


Man, I just can’t believe Down By Law are celebrating the 30th anniversary of their formation. Undoubtedly, time goes by very quickly and probably the vast majority of fans of their music grew up listening to their hits from the albums like Blue, DC Guns, Punkrockacademyfightsong, All Scratched Up, or Windwardtidesandwaywardsails, for example, but these are certainly just small portions of this their rich career. Led by the tireless punk rock veteran Dave Smalley, who is also known for working with legendary Boston,MA old school hardcore band DYS, the very influential Washington,DC melodic hardcore punk band Dag Nasty, or Californian melodic punk rock legends ALL, Down By Law are performing their very distinctive mixture of both DC and Californian schools of punk rock. The rest of the band consists of Sam Williams on guitar, John DiMambro on bass and Hunter Oswald on drums. The band have done their best to bring all the familiar tunes from their phenomenal career throughout this live session, and it could be argued that Down By Law sounds better than ever. The whole session was performed and recorded in one single take, so the amounts of transmitted energy at this presented material simply demonstrates why Down By Law are still at the top of the game. The record also features two covers, the Values Here by legendary Dag Nasty and well known 500 Miles by a band called The Proclaimers, so both covers are phenomenally crafted. Smalley’s vocals sound better than ever, and the guitars totally transmit enormous amounts of phenomenal melodies Down By Law are widely known for. The rhythm section is in charge for more massive sounding tones of the band, and they will surely deliver a lot of sonic pleasures to the listeners who decide to pick this album in a physical audio format. These live sessions are professionally produced to deliver a crisp, clean, but pleasantly warm, kinda retro rock’n’roll sounding tones and the slight studio reverb exude the ambience of a garage sound. The band also tried to keep the whole material dynamic, so the whole setlist is combined of punk rock, hardcore punk, mod revival mixture with vocals always being constant, precise and melodic. This record comes with a beautiful cover art comprised of a dominating orange tree, which has been made in an abstract style. A vinyl record is also orange and it comes with a download code that can be redeemed at the bands bandcamp page. Down By Law have done their best to mark the band’s 30th anniversary, and this vinyl release is more than a great document adorning their impressive discography. The record has been released through Kung Fu Records and Cleopatra Records.