Authority Zero

Stories Of Survival

Written by: PP on 13/09/2010 22:28:52

Rise Against fans, look this way. I'd like to introduce you to a band called Authority Zero, who have existed for nearly as long but have only recently transitioned away from their roots in reggae and skate punk into more of a melodic hardcore platform. The ska-like songs still exist on "Stories Of Survival", their fourth studio album, but to a much lesser extent than in the past. But before you go ahead and call them a Rise Against clone band, you have to remember that Authority Zero were playing (partly) this style long before Rise Against toned down their hardcore side on 2006's "The Sufferer & The Witness". Otherwise, go right ahead, because this album is, in effect, almost identical to said record in every which way.

Sweeping vocal melodies, fast tempo and a hardcore-based sound are the key essentials to why "Stories Of Survival" is such a good album. There's heavy focus on melody, both instrumental and vocal, but much care is taken to make sure the record at no point falls anywhere near the sugarcoated pop punk melodies. There's a considerable degree of aggression in the mix, but it is contrasted by instantly catchy choruses that allow the record to sound easily-accessible despite its roots in heavier music. Probably even to the extent that many radio stations that traditionally oppose playing heavy music could consider songs like "Get It Right" and especially "Brick In The Wave" to their rotation. Bear in mind though that I'm seriously having a hard time convincing myself it isn't Tim McIlrath & co playing and singing these songs instead of Authority Zero, for so similar are these two particular songs to tracks like "Collapse (Post-Amerika)" and "Ready To Fall". Admittedly the former is from the latest Rise Against album, but then again "Stories of Survival" sounds largely like an album right between those two records with the leaning on "Sufferer...".

That said, there are enough songs where Authority Zero sound like their own to avoid complete accusations of copy-catting. "Big Bad World", for instance, is a poppy ballad with a reggae-beat, "Movement" is another classic AZ track from the years gone by, and "The Remedy" mixes the high pace of the earlier album with a gang-shout supported reggae track. But I guess there's no way around the fact that the majority of the album is straight off the Rise Against (and partly, Bad Religion) repertoire. That said, Authority Zero play their songs with so much energy and convincing 'fuck-you' attitude that I don't ever feel like rather listening to the original creators of the sound instead. Moreover, the songs on this album are really, really good, so why complain?


Download: Liberteducation, Brick In The Wave, Get It Right
For the fans of: Rise Against, Bad Religion, Nations Afire, Propagandhi
Listen: Myspace

Release date 22.06.2010
Suburban Noize Records

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