Authority Zero - Broadcasting To The Nation (Cover Artwork)

Authority Zero

Broadcasting To The Nation (2017)

bird attack records

Authority Zero’s new album is Fast, Loud, Shredding, Melodic, Skate punk to be exact, with a little reggae and horns thrown in to make things spicy.

It’s been over 4 years since their last record, “The Tipping Point”, which came on the heels of a live acoustic (albeit full band) record. Their last record felt like the most realized and well-produced record to date from a band of veteran musicians that had honed their craft. Cameron Webb, who is one of the more substantial names in the world of punk rock producers, was swapped out for the illustrious Bill Stevenson and his Blasting Room facilities and the production upgrade is prevalent throughout this entire recording. Authority Zero is a band that has never shied away from high production values. Fat Wreck mainstay, Ryan Greene, helmed the boards for a few earlier albums and Dave Jerden produced their first record. Broadcasting To The Nations is a full, loud and punchy sounding affair with emphasis on the low-end, which tends to be a specialty of Mr. Stevenson & co. It doesn’t hurt that drummer Chris Dalley (of Pulley, Implants and Death By Stereo), who joined the band in 2015, is backing this record up. Anyone that has heard any of his previous bands is more than aware of his skill behind the kit. It’s worth noting that Sean Sellers of Good Riddance/The Real McKenzies fame played on the bands last record. Authority Zero seems to have no problem roping in talent.

“Broadcasting To The Nation” begins incredibly solid with the first three songs barreling out of the gate, guns ablaze, fast and enraged but chalk full of melody.
After this 1,2,3 punch we are given a ska-inflected mid-tempo anthem which invokes Anti-Flag at times. A hamond organ popping up near the end of this track helps make this song stand out among the back ends more mid-tempo pop-punk ragers. One of the best songs on this record is “Summer Sickness”. Authority Zero are able to do this type of reggae/latin/horn infused style so well and it helps break up the forward moving rock of their records. As Jason Devore sings over the mournful horns about, you guessed it, missing summer days, which is something I’m sure we can all relate to. Go listen to “Today We Heard The News” and “Big Bad World” for more of this gorgeous Latin flavored type of music by AZ. I insist.

“Bayside” was released as the first single from this record and while it’s a fun mid-tempo punk rock romp, it offers nothing we haven’t heard before from our skate punk brethren. In fact, this record is top heavy to a fault. “Revolution Riot” is a fun slab of ska-punk (“revolution” is this bands muse apparently. Dating back to the song “Revolution” from 2004’s “Andiamo” and popping up consistently through the catalog) but it doesn’t quite grab the listener like anything from the first half of this record. In fact, other than the dancey “La Diabla”, which features an appearance from that aforementioned hamond organ, the next handful of songs drag us through a poppy punk lull only to be treated to one final highlight and raging anthem, “No Guts No Glory”, which TOTALLY redeems those last few yawners. This song, about how life drags us down, is a beauty of a way to end this record as fast and urgent as it began but leaving us needing and demanding more.

Authority Zero have only improved with each release in every facet of their sound. Though far from original in terms of sound, they do what they do well and while the skate punk scene is filled with copycats on top of copycats, these seasoned players are the real deal.