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“Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.”
True talent shines through diversity. Sadly, in a world full of watered-down and stagnant music we are exposed to a daily does of your standard “run-of-the-mill” bands. It pains me to say it, but it’s true. Thankfully, with enough passion and respect for more than strictly one genre of music, we do from time-to-time get treated with a band that is willing to step outside of their musical boundaries. In this case, that band is Mesa, Arizona’s Authority Zero.
With a strong following, solid discography and some very popular singles in tow, this band has not only survived the consistent flood of bad music to hit our shores, they have accepted it and fought through it. All the while, making sure they have some of their own stories to tell.
On their latest album, “Stories of Survival” they bring back the reggae, skate punk sound we have all grown to know and love. With their first single, “Get It Right” currently hitting the airwaves, it’s easy to see that this album will become just as influential and memorable as any of their last efforts and will hopefully garner them the new fans they rightfully deserve.
“Get It Right” showcases that beneath the musical layers of this band, there is always that one song that resonates much louder than the rest. A perfect blend of hooks, melody and chorus with a really good guitar solo and I think it is safe to say that my stand-out track from the album has been found. Ironically, this song asks the question, “Maybe someday, I’ll get it right?” After hearing this song, I’m pretty sure the band just answered their own question.
“Stories of Survival” begins fittingly with Winston Churchill and one of his many famous quotes, this one focusing, of course, on the topic at hand…victory. Like all album introductions of past, you know that following an introduction you have to launch an album with a fast & furious show starter. I introduce to you, the first of many of the heavily punk-influenced tracks you will eventually hear, “The New Pollution”. A small taste of what you fist-pumping, studded jacket sporting rabble rousers will soon be chanting as you destroy the dance floor. Once you find yourself craving more, Authority Zero force feeds you some more punk rock directly to your ear drums with tracks such as, “A Day to Remember”, “Break the Mold” and “No Way Home”.
The album carries on with the diversity I expected, rock & roll executed in just the right way. The melodic working-man’s anthem, “Big Bad World” proves once again that lyrics can really make a song. “Crashland” with it’s morse-code introduction, slips quickly into the ‘notable songs on the album’ category virtually unscathed. While, “Liberatededucation” takes all of the essential Authority Zero elements: punk, rock and reggae and blends them all seamlessly.
While I listened to this album, I wondered when I would find the spanish-stylings or heavily reggae-influenced song or two that accompanies every album of theirs. When the stereo finally hit, “Movement” and “The Remedy” my answer had been found. “The Remedy” reminding me of why I got into this band in the first place.
Musically, lyrically and visually I really enjoy this album. As a fellow graphic-designer, drummer Jim Wilcox (who runs Ransom Apparel and designed this album) really impresses me. The artwork for this release is some of the best I have seen in years and I say that with one hundred percent honesty. That man has a gift! Come to think of it, I was so impressed by the artwork I completely over-looked the fact that this is the official first release on Viking Funeral Records, founded partially by Fletcher of Pennywise fame.
Authority Zero has always been (in my eyes) one of those blatantly talented bands. A group of experienced musicians backed by a strong vocalist with smart lyrics and you know that no matter what the cost or where this world takes us, they will always survive.