Authority Zero 12:34
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- Released: January 30, 2007
- Originally Released: 2007
- Label: Big Panda Records
Alternative Press - p.1684 stars out of 5 -- "Veteran punk knob-turner Ryan Greene is back at the board, so guitarist Bill Marck's tone is thick and juicy and Jim Wilcox's drums punch you in the gut."
Song previews provided courtesy of iTunes
It goes without saying that Authority Zero can kick it fast. On 12:34, singer Jason DeVore still has one of the quickest deliveries around, and he continues to effortlessly scorch the air with impassioned words over his bandmates' super tight playing. And though the guys were always able to claim more than just unrelenting energy levels -- flavoring their Bad Religion-inspired blasts with ska, reggae and Latin touches -- 12:34 largely ignores this part of their personality. This is unexpected considering 2004's Andiamo featured those undertones as main players in an otherwise straightforward sound. Overt eclecticism did not stay on Authority Zero's agenda, and it's not even until five tracks in that the first taste of anything besides rapid-fire punk is faintly detected. "Wake Up Call" opens the proceedings with brisk drumming, direct guitars and a chorus of forceful vocal harmonies, leaving songs like "Talk Is Cheap" and the mischievous gang skank of "Sirens" as only a few to hold the torch for the Arizona crew's love of Sublime. The volatile "Memory Lane" cuts the difference between the two, alternating between lively ska riffing and steamrolling hardcore with ease. The album's one-trick nature is indeed surprising, since the band has built a reputation on being fairly diverse; but ignore these preconceived notions, and it's hard to deny the power and fun of each track. 12:34 is invigorating and empowering, a tone of resilience and survival permeating most songs, as in "Courage" and "The Bravery." This record is a full embracement of their SoCal hardcore influences, making it an unexpected offering from a band that undoubtedly has more up its sleeve, but it's an energizing listen nonetheless. ~ Corey Apar
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