Authority Zero

Ollie Ollie Oxen Free

Written by: PP on 28/08/2021 02:35:03

Has there been a more consistent band in punk rock over the past decade or so than Authority Zero? Drenched in passion and anthemic sing-along choruses, it's never made much sense to me why they aren't a bigger band. You can go even further back and discover that since their debut album "A Passage In Time" in 2002, not a single release will leave you disappointed. If anything, they've matured like fine wine: previous album "Persona Non Grata" saw the band churn out some of their best-produced, fieriest material to date, where watching the band play live was an almost religious experience, so relentlessly high-octane was their performance time and time again around this and the previous release.

That album also saw Authority Zero branch out and distinguish themselves more clearly from being a little brother to Rise Against's sound (despite having been a much better band for the past decade) to having their own, signature-style expression. And that exact approach continues here on the eighth album "Ollie Ollie Oxen Free", a bombastic record that takes you from the breakneck speed bangers like "Nowheres Land" through melodic punk rock sing-alongs like "Fire Off Another" to London-esque urban rhythms in the vein of Sonic Boom Six on "Fully Operational". A few upstroke guitars on lightning speed "Ear To Ear" and the reggae-style acoustic guitar on "A New Day" demonstrate their ska-side, but where the band hit bullseye is on the heavy skate punk smash-it-up "Don't Tear Me Down", where Jim Lindberg's (Pennywise) cooler-than-thou guest vocals play off perfectly against Jason DeVore's rowdy style. Sheer fucking awesome is what it is.

Then you realize the title track, "Have You Ever", "Seas And Serpents" and pretty much every other track on the record is exactly as you want an Authority Zero record to sound like. There's variety, but most importantly, it's the kind of record where the band is exactly where you want them to be. For fans like the undersigned, there just isn't any need to push the envelope any further than this: with great songs delivered exactly in their signature style, why should the band change? "Ollie Ollie Oxen Free" is another brightly shining star in a discography that's almost certainly the most criminally underrated one in recent memory, attributable to the band's ever-continuing journey of releasing records on tiny labels most people won't have heard of. DIY till you die, as you say, but hey, bands like Authority Zero are why this magazine was originally founded almost twenty years ago.


Download: Don't Tear Me Down, Nowheres Land, Ollie Ollie Oxen Free, Have You Ever, Bruiser
For the fans of: Rise Against, Bad Religion, Nations Afire, Strung Out, Good Riddance
Listen: Facebook

Release date 18.06.2021
Zia Records

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