Review Summary: Here I am, I’m that fire in your eyes.
Authority Zero are a fun band. That’s the best way to classify them. In terms of genre, it’s a nice mix of reggae and ska with punk and rock. You pretty much get slapped in the face right as you start, with the fast-paced punk number “Wake Up Call,”
which follows your standard verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus formula. It’s a very good sing along number, and something that should pique your interest for the rest of the album.
But what the album really suffers from is that a lot of it sounds the same. That isn’t terrible when it’s good, but it does leave a listener feeling kind of bored with the CD. A lot of the songs seem to just mesh together with not much variation in them. “Wake Up Call,”
sounds good. Until you get to “On The Edge,” “Courage,”
and “No Regrets”
and realize how close they are to being the same songs. All with interesting intros and bridges, but they suffer from the same structure. They are enjoyable enough, but nothing to really write home about.
It’s when Authority Zero start to vary up their style more by adding in reggae/ska elements that they grab your attention. “Talk is Cheap”
is where the band really kicks it in. It’s a slow burner of a song, driven mostly by bass and drums, with ska upstrokes. It’s extremely catchy and powerful, and when the chorus kicks in its like being punched in the face. It’s extremely passionate and you feel that this song was more lovingly crafted than any of the earlier ones. “Sirens”
is another example where they bring in their ska/reggae style again. It’s a slower song, but it will get lodged in your head. A simple chorus of “Sirens in the streets under pressure, whoaaa”
repeated over and over again sounds like it would get samey, but the repetition works here.
With “the Bravery,” “Carpe Diem,”
and “Memory Lane”
it feels like it’s unfortunately back to the fast punk style. It works for them, but it unfortunately just makes them sound generic, as much as I hate to use that word. You’ll find yourself singing along and enjoying it, but it also feels like something you might hear from so many other bands that permeate the world.
and “Drunken Sailor”
offer up different styles. The title track is another fast-paced punk number, but seems to contain more passion than the others. “Drunken Sailor”
is another change in direction, sounding almost Celt-Punk, in the vein of Flogging Molly or the Dropkick Murphys.
The last song, “Break Free,”
makes sure to not disappoint, as Authority Zero goes back to their strengths with employing their reggae style. It’s a powerful closer, although perhaps a bit cliché, with lyrics about breaking free from your bonds. However, I guess if you think about it, with a name like Authority Zero, it’s something you should expect from them.
suffers a lot from sounding generic. Catchy, fun, yes. But a lot of it sounding the same as so many other bands hurts it. Authority Zero are at their best with their slower songs, when they play with more passion instead of speed. Hopefully they’ll realize that those are their strengths and will play to them instead of trying to please everyone.