Authority Zero


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AllMusic Review by Johnny Loftus

Arizona punks Authority Zero return with their second Lava/Atlantic release, and it's a good one. Rather than pretending they're post-everything or pop-something, Andiamo basks Authority's West Coast soul in the dry desert sunlight, stripping tracks like "Painted Windows" and "Revolution" to their Bad Religion and Green Day roots while spicing others with ska, reggae, and Spanish influences. Robust harmonies support the grainy power of Jason DeVore's lead vocal throughout, and Bill Marcks' guitar lines are always built for speed and economy. Best of all, producer Ryan Greene (No Use for a Name, Nerf Herder) stays out of the way, going for that even-levels sound familiar to any fan of the Cali punk and hardcore canon. Authority Zero's reggae and ska influences have never been superficial novelties, and on Andiamo, they take up a sizable portion of the set list. "Madman" mixes up beats with muscular punk chording, while "Retreat"'s dubby reggae intersects with wiry ska-core and bleary-eyed surf guitar. Authority also reveal more than a sonic connection to the Sublime/Long Beach Dub Allstars throne, offering the turntable and percussion skills of that collective's Marshall Goodman on a completely unironic cover of the Wall of Voodoo classic "Mexican Radio." Other album highlights include the rapid-fire blasts "Society's Sequence" and "Siempre Loco"; a bonus live run through "Rattlin' Bog" will have you catching your breath. Rather than skating by on punk rehash and generic ska grooves, Authority Zero prove there's still energy in both, and a certain vitality in keeping things simple.

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