Book of Law
Often the disbanding of Knoxville acts has a Phoenix-like effect. Bands rising from the ashes of defunct acts often prove greater than the sum of their previous affiliations. Such is the case with newborn act The Book of Law. The nearly simultaneous derailing of local bands Adoration and Red Cloud resulted in the formation of The Book of Law, which consists of three ex-Adoration members and former Red Cloud vocalist David Davis. The new band surpasses either of the previous groups with a style all it's own. The Book of Law is perhaps among Knoxville's best at creating lush soundscapes. While many a local references Hum as an influence, few produce the atmospheric, shoegazing quality so well. The style might come as a surprise to fans of Adoration and Red Cloud. As the members of The Book of Law point out, their new progression is less a product of choosing a direction so much as deciding what not to be. 'The Book of Law is just easier,' says guitarist Matt Ross. 'With Adoration, so many times it felt like we were cramming square pegs in round holes, and the communication was next to none. With this band there is much less stress and clashing. This band is different from Adoration, stylistically, in that it is much less heavy and more traditional in the songwriting sense. I feel that big guitar riffs are painfully outdated and embarrassing, and that was a huge part of Adoration. 'I also think David's playing bass forces him to ground his vocals better. Before I thought he was somewhat guilty of over-singing, which really gets in the way of my guitar doodling. We definitely like the professionalism of a four-piece band. Five always just seemed clunky, awkward and unbalanced. We've played with so many nu-metal quintets that I felt embarrassed just having five dudes on stage. You best define yourself by what you are not.' A true shoegazer at heart, David Davis doesn't seem to feel comfortable in his own skin. In addition to using a form of automatic writing to craft his lyrics, he and the rest of the band prefer a toned-down live show that does not overcompensate with theatrics. While the group has occasionally, and perhaps ironically, described itself as melodramatic pop, this is far from the case. 'I write like humanity's unsung voice,' says Davis. 'I've tried to write those poppy, catchy, perfect love songs, but it never works out like I planned. It always sounds forced and awkward, so I stick with what I know, feel and love - the joy and complication of humanity. Whenever me and Matt Ross are in a band together, we somehow end up making music that is much more tasteful than if we were in separate bands. In our previous bands, we just made simple 'water head' type songs that were good for what they were, but what we've developed into is much more refined.' 'Our shows are pretty mellow when compared with our previous endeavors,' adds Ross. 'We're not going to beat you over the head with our music. If that's what you need, stick to corporate radio rock.' Despite a laid-back approach, the group was recently discovered by renowned recorder Alex Newport of Metropolitan Sound in Brooklyn, N.Y. Newport's credentials include work with The Mars Volta, Death Cab for Cutie, The Melvins and Brazil, to name a few. The Book of Law looks to have their recordings with Newport made available by early fall. 'I would consider working and being 'discovered' by Alex a major accomplishment,' says Davis. 'We're not trying to sell our music to people, necessarily, but we're not going for the 'anti-dollar' either. We're not good salesmen; we're musicians, so having anyone from the industry find us interesting is a huge blessing to us. I can't think of any other producer who would be better suited to record us. We head up there in July, and I've been waiting a long time to go to New York.'