Against All Authority

The Restoration of Chaos & Order

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Aside from a couple EPs and a rarities compilation, Restoration of Chaos & Order comes as the first proper full-length release from the perpetually pissed-off Against All Authority since 2000s 24 Hour Roadside Resistance. But don't worry, it was worth the six-year wait. AAA are typically known as a politically slanted ska-punk act, but the band has always leaned a bit more heavily to the punk side of things, and this fact has become even more evident the longer they've been around. With Restoration, it's almost to the point that AAA can better be referred to as a straight-up punk rock band that occasionally delves into checkered terrain (as in lighthearted yet potent tracks like "Collecting Scars" and "Radio Waves.") Though only a handful of songs feature their trumpet player (what the hell does he do in the meantime?), this hardly makes a good point of contention with the overall album. After all, without really breaking any new ground, the album makes for an aggressively enjoyable and consistent listen from beginning to end. Their sound is altogether refreshing among the emo bands taking over the underground with wonderfully snotty vocals and songs that are polished without ever losing the band's ever-gritty edge. Considering the album's title (referring to a Bush speech blunder sampled in track one) and accompanying artwork, politics play a less dominant role than would be expected. The government is targeted in songs like the vicious "War Machine Breakdown" and "Sweet Televised Destruction" -- among others -- but the band is also found tackling school shootings ("Buried Alive"), late night pit anthems of solidarity ("Shut It Down"), and a humorous tale of punk love in "All Ages Show Tonight." The ska may be all but left behind, but Against All Authority continue to march through the 2000s with their rage and conviction intact. Lucky us.

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