Against All Authority - The Restoration of Chaos & Order (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Against All Authority

The Restoration of Chaos & Order (2006)


Fellow 'Org editor Justin and myself were recently discussing how ideal of an opening band Against All Authority is. An insult? Hardly. Backhanded compliment? Probably. The veteran act has been writing catchy punk rock songs for a number of years now, their earlier material notably leaning more into skacore / ska-punk territory. And while none of their albums seem particularly memorable or enthralling, The Restoration of Chaos & Order continues in this fashion, offering well-produced, upbeat punk rock with flashes of mid-`90s Rancid.

Like on the band's last release, a split EP with the final songs recorded by Common Rider, the band's ska influences are less obvious and abundant, only fully audible in blatant horn-and-upstroke offerings like "Sweet Televised Destruction" and "Radio Waves." That isn't necessarily a bad thing, because it seems the band stretch beyond merely ...And Out Come the Wolves for influence despite the handful of upstrokes here and there. "All Ages Show Tonight" carries on a serious Lawrence Arms vibe, in fact, as it's a bouncy, uptempo jaunt circa Ghost Stories or Oh! Calcutta!, especially with an increased concentration on the snot and gravel of the vocalist's delivery á la Brendan Kelly. Even standouts like these are enjoyable but hard to recall later on after the disc's completion.

So while these songs don't make a particularly lasting impression upon the listener, what really hurts are the punk rock clichés strewn about. "All Ages Show Tonight" describes a few disaffected youths gaining a release from everyday life's stress, while "Radio Waves" is the expected, proud "punk rock is on the airwaves" anthem and "War Machine Breakdown" one of Anti-Flag's less realized lyrical outtakes. Whether or not we're supposed to perceive these as tongue in cheek is rather blurry and that clouds the album's overall voice, unfortunately, though the rockabilly-by-way-of-skatepunk-inflected "I Just Wanna Start a Circle Pit" certainly seems to lay it on thick.

So with The Restoration of Chaos & Order, Against All Authority firmly emphasize themselves as one of those few precious bands remaining from the 1990s punk/ska scene, but hardly out of touch geezers; just a few aging veterans spreading it evenly and continuing to write pretty decent songs.

The Restoration of Chaos and Order
Radio Waves

Six songs from The Restoration of Chaos & Order