Review Summary: Good but nothing you haven't heard before.
Never having heard of the band Authority Zero before I could only guess what to expect when a dear friend of mine gave me one of their albums entitled Andiamo
. As I examined the cover and lyric book a lazy thought drifted through my mind. Political punk, how exciting.. Not really but despite my distaste for this particular style of punk I decided to use my ignorance to better form an unbiased opinion about this album. First I listened casually, then a little more intently; finally not at all. As the sounds impelled thoughts the thoughts formed words and the words fell into sequence creating this review.
Across a few listens it’s easy to see that this band wears its influences proudly. Not being such a bad factor when their main influence seems to be Sublime. Now a blatant rip off of one of the best bands to ever grace music would earn this little punk act a harsh scolding from yours truly, however Authority Zero take a few safe steps away from being labeled as mere copycats. That’s not to say that the tracks ”Madman”
don’t sound an awful lot like the Sublime classic ”Date Rape”
because they do. Those two songs also happen to be some of the best on the record, influences apparent or not. Some might get a little bubbled at the fact that during the song “Retreat” when the word “retreat” is shouted it could almost seamlessly be replaced by the words “date rape”. There’s some other influences here as well, Pennywise Green Day and Voodoo Glow Skulls being some of the more apparent.
With having and employing such apparent influences there’s bound to be snags here and there. To start this band doesn’t really stick out among the mass of other punk bands of the day. Other than the more Sublime obvious tracks mentioned earlier there are some good moments to be heard. ”Find Your Way”
creeps in dribbles at the start before launching into more standard punk tendencies. ”Taking On The World”
swiftly executes alternating chug riffs simple enough for anyone to enjoy. Yet despite these songs being rather good they’re nothing you haven’t heard before. The bass lines are usually funky and protruding more heavily than in other styles of music. The drums are expectedly energetic, a prominent theme always dear to the punk style. ” Chile Con Crudo”
bounces along happily to the absence of the Billie Joe/Bradley Nowell tinted vocals. Somehow this short instrumental recalls some sort of family outing to a fair, not a bad emotion to create if you ask me. However, once again this is all pretty standard stuff.
While the majority of the tracks float safely above the level of good there are a few that just don’t quite make it. ”Revolution”
inflicts the cheesy chorus, ”You want a revolution you gotta make a difference on your own. Wanna revolution, stand up stand out and make it known”
. Very cookie cutter if you ask me. The band also attempt a cover of the popular Wall of Voodoo’s song ”Mexican Radio”
and while they don’t ultimately fail at it they don’t get any points either. And finally there’s ”PCH-82”
. Now it’s obvious that the speech interludes regarding legal/political issues are placed throughout the song for a reason but that reason only seems to bore up the song. Not the strongest way to sum up an album but I’m sure this was no crown jewel for the band anyway.
This album was good, plain and simple. If you’re bored and want to hear a band show off some influences give this a spin. If you’re looking for some sort of life changing classic this will only serve to disappoint. This album does do one thing for me I kinda like. It makes me want to go listen to Sublime.