Authority Zero - 12:34 (Cover Artwork)

Authority Zero

12:34 (2007)

Big Panda

This album is Authority Zero's latest release and the followup to 2004's Andiamo. The band, composed of Jason DeVore (vocals), Bill Marcks (guitar, vocals), Jeremy Wood (bass) and Jim Wilcox (drums), comes from Mesa, Arizona. This album is a step up from Andiamo, with more energy while combining their traditional combination of punk and reggae.

The opening track, "Wake Up Call" starts off with spoken word and is followed by a ripping bass riff, followed by fast, energetic guitars. "On Edge" has a very catchy riff to start the song, and is only bolstered by DeVore's voice.

"Courage" is the standout track, in my opinion. It comes from DeVore's solo acoustic album, but is full electric here and has a very strong chorus.

A close second is track 4, "No Regrets." The guitars are almost metal-like in the verse and the bass has a very fast intro. The next song, "Talk Is Cheap," slows its way down. It's along the lines of "Retreat!" from Andiamo. It combines a relaxing reggae guitar riff with the kind of bass you'd expect to back that style.

"The Bravery" isn't really too great compared to the rest of the album, but it's still really good. It seems like these guys can't write a bad song. Even the worst song on their record is better than some other bands' best.

"Carpe Diem" is a fast, catchy punk rock song. If you wanted a really good song to just listen to and chill, "Sirens" is the way to go -- it's tied with "Courage" as my favorite off the album.

The title track, "12:34" sounds like it'd be a great closer song, and I think it might be misplaced on the album in the track listing. The song is amazing. Come to think of it, it's in a three-way tie with "Sirens" and "Courage." "Break Free," the closer, and "Memory Lane" are on par with "The Bravery," though both are very catchy.

The final two songs that stand out are the fast punk version of the traditional song, "Drunken Sailor," and "Broken Dreams." "Drunken Sailor" is sometimes changed to Drunken Zero, to talk about the band and their fans.

"Broken Dreams" sounds something like a hardcore song. It's got a heavy, ripping guitar line, and DeVore does screaming very, very well. Now that I think about it, "Broken Dreams" is the best track on the album. It was released as a downloadable single on iTunes way before the album was released and I believe it may have been a bonus track on the import of Andiamo, but it is such a solid track that it could be released on every album of theirs and still be as good.

All in all, this album is a step up from Andiamo, and on par with A Passage in Time. Authority Zero has delivered a solid, standout album once again.