Hailing from Mesa, AZ, Authority Zero combines various levels of music and mashes them into their own style. Punk rock, thrash, reggae, and even a hint of skate rock can be heard throughout their years of material. The band really take pride in incorporating those styles to their catalog as well as carries a strong love for bands like Bad Religion and Pennywise. Having been kicking ass and taking names for almost 20 years now, spite many challenges in their career, Authority Zero has not calmed down one bit.
This Tuesday, Authority Zero will be releasing an all new album titled The Tipping Point. These West Coast punkers have dropped an impressive release full of energy and fast-paced fun. With plans of touring Europe in a month to support their new release, Authority Zero really seem to be moving in the right direction. Ask anyone in their infamous Zero Crew and I am sure they will agree. Still, I am just as pleased as I am shocked this is only their fifth studio release.
The very fast-paced “No Other Place” started off the album with plenty of speed and aggression sure to entice a circle pit. It was almost too easy to hear the gracious nod to Pennywise and Bad Religion in this track from Jason DeVore’s singing style. Add some necessary group vocals aside with quick and heavy guitar riffs, you can hear the influential bands that helped build Authority Zero.
“Undivided” continued with more of a 90s punk feel with DeVore having a great flow from start to finish. The chorus was catchy as hell, the drums were just non-stop, and the guitars carried well. My only distraction was the Dicky Barrett sounding scream that ultimately stopped the song for a moment, but then jumped right back in.
“For the Kids” had a Good Riddance feel to it that I really enjoyed. I really caught on to these lyrics because they really hit home to me as DeVore sang “this one’s for you” about more or less – me. Well, at least young me. Great song about yesteryear to any music fan who was surrounded by friends in any scene. Age may be catching up with a lot of us, but those memories will last forever. This track is worth a listen.
I really was beginning to wonder if Authority Zero dropped the reggae from their sound and then “Struggle” started. It’s not terrible by any means, but the current me never really got into this version of Authority Zero. “On The Brink” followed returning to their punk sound.
“Today We Heard The News” was another reggae track on the album, but this one I actually enjoyed. The horns throughout kept the track interesting while I tried to figure out what DeVore was singing about. From what I gathered, it was about a protest about something and not giving up fighting the cause. (EDIT: apparently it is about the passing of Tony Sly. I am kind of kicking myself for not grasping that. Thanks to a reader for that one.)
“Shakedown in Jaurez” also kind of hit home to me, but in a different matter seeing how I currently live 30 minutes away from that city and am more than aware of everything that goes on there. The song itself, mixed punk and reggae for a sound I just could once again not get into.
Ending the album was “21st Century Breakout”, a sped up punk track that got stuck in my head. I could not help but think about Bad Religion once again as DeVore sang just like Mr. Greg Graffin at times. Setting that aside, this track was killer and pretty much was my choice cut on the entire album.
After all the changes Authority Zero has gone through in the last few years, it is almost admirable to see them continue on. With a revolving door of members leaving and joining along with countless other setbacks during the band’s existence, the band seems to have finally found some well-deserved stability. With all those drawbacks though, I am shocked they did not call it quits and start something new already.
Case and point, just 2 weeks ago, the band’s long-time bassist Jeremy Wood announced on his Facebook page he was leaving the band to spend more time with family and other personal reasons. Luckily lead signer, and the last of the original lineup, Jason DeVore quickly announced the band had a touring bass player to join them on the road in support of their upcoming release The Tipping Point. Somehow, I have the feeling this album was properly named by the band for more reasons than one.
There is no doubt in my mind if you are a fan of the punk rock genre that you have heard of this band or seen them live at a Warped Tour or heard them on a video game soundtrack. They have been in the game for nearly 20 years and it can definitely be heard in The Tipping Point. No matter how many changes this band goes through, it would appear that Jason DeVore has no intention giving up something he truly loves.