Originally released in 1989, Law of the Order was the major label debut from L.A. melodic rockers Shark Island. I'm not sure how I missed these guys the first time around. I enjoyed their work on the Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure soundtrack, and knew of vocalist Richard Black's involvement in the Contraband project, but for whatever reason never picked up a copy of Law of the Order when it was originally released.
I wish I hadn't waited so long to check out Law of the Order, because it is definitely my kind of melodic rock album, full of great melodies, catchy guitar hooks, and Richard Black's gritty, midrange voice, which sounds a bit like a less obnoxious version of Billy Idol's. Essentially, it's L.A. Guns without the sleaze. You can still hear the band's glam metal roots here and there, but this was definitely not just another lipstick and spandex kind of band. Sure, it's formulaic, but it's a formula that worked well at the time, and it's still more fun to listen to than most of what's on the radio today. Standout tracks include rockers "Shake for Me" and "Passion to Ashes," power ballad "Bad for Each Other" and the band's rocking version of Fleetwood Mac's "The Chain."
Law of the Order is well worth hunting down if you're a serious fan of the 80's melodic hard rock scene, especially of bands like Dokken, XYZ, Leatherwolf, and Hurricane.
Edition Notes: Bad Records released a very nice reissue of Law of the Order in 2004. The 2-disc reissue features digitally remastered sound, the three songs Shark Island recorded for various soundtracks as bonus tracks, and the full Live at the Whiskey EP as a bonus disc (and even that has two additional live tracks that were previously unreleased). Top it off with a thick booklet full of band info, photos and lyrics and you've got one of the best reissues around. Unfortunately the reissue is just as hard, if not harder, to find than the original CD.