Firmly rooted in the skate punk genre, Authority Zero have been around since 1994, sending their wisdom for a healthier planet like signals of intent. The Arizona act are also intelligent wordsmiths, planting letters and letting them grow into powerful slogans. This has been a pivotal part of the band’s make-up, those disgruntled feelings towards to state of the world, and they want change in their own homeland.
Over the course of Persona Non Grata, the band’s new record, optimism deflates like a balloon struck by a cigarette. The negative input is there for a reason; it carries them through, and it also offers those disenchanted travelers who feel unwanted and overpowered a chance for their voices to soar through the static noise.
Through the lyrics, love-letters are disposed of, replaced by gratifying notes of power and repent. The band members know how to craft these lyrics which rail against the grain and monumentally cut in deeply. Many may think Authority Zero are writing to embark on creating drama or controversy, but in hindsight, they’re trying to tell their stories, fluent fables not just for your entertainment.
Persona Non Grata serves up musical competence, too. Those abrasive, chugged-out guitar lines are ever-so-present. Yes, they may be simple, but punk shouldn’t be complex. It is, of course, a genre equipped and ready for praise or discouragement; it is a stand. It’s like an unshaven, fiery, fearless, chaser of gratitude, a man bound in alcohol.
And delivering an album of significance is important for a band who’ve been making music for 24 years. Although Persona Non Grata isn’t a masterpiece, it is a record of honesty and intelligence. First off, we’re treated to ‘’A Blind Eye’,’ a song mixing together ska-like sounds. Lead vocalist Jason DeVore sings and gives his damning verdict on a swollen, sick world. The fast-paced chorus is infectious here, melding quick-fired guitar lines and melody.
‘’Atom Bomb’’ heaps on a powerful chorus. The bass lines are apparent, cutting through the volatile guitar presence. The story keeps on giving on this track, and DeVore blasts his vocal chords. ‘
’The Bright Side’’ is a punk thrill, executed fearlessly. This songs seems to hold onto the coattails of optimism. ‘’Damage Control’’ plays out sweetly, and the lyrics describe a reckless brain. Overall, the contribution works well.
Authority Zero manage to bring their fresh, punk expressions to the forefront, giving us an insight into their workings. They’re true to themselves on this release.