Authority Zero – Andiamo (CD)

Audiamo is an album that transcends limitations of genre and resists all attempts to be pigeonholed. The only generalization that can be made about this album is that it is the perfect get up and go CD, with a powerful tempo permeating each and every track on the disc. Jason’s vocals are almost smooth, aphoristic, and provide a perfect sticking point where every other facet of the band literally changes direction and sound with each subsequent track. It is really a disservice to this Arizona band that the track with the largest push on popular radio isn’t even their track – “Mexican Radio” was originally a Wall of Voodoo track, and while Authority Zero add their own flavor to it, is not quite as indicative of their style as “Revolution” or the down-tempo, Slightly Stoopid and Operation Ivy-influenced “Retreat!”. What is impressive about Authority Zero is the incredible precision of the band, their ability to construct the most difficult in terms of arrangements while staving off the twin specters of disjointedness and murkiness.

Even with tracks like “Socetie’s Sequence”, which only lasts for a minute and a forth, “Andiamo” dupes its listeners into thinking that the disc is tens of minutes longer than it is – I remember looking up at the crystal after what felt like a good half-hour of music and the disc was only half through! “Andiamo” is the only album I’ve ever reviewed that has this quality without the disc actually being long and me wanting it to end. “Mexican Radio” may just sound like another poppunk, but the two different styles of breakdowns to be found during this track need to be mentioned. First off, the multi-part harmony achieved when the entire band drops out instrumentally is spot-on, and secondly, the booming sounds of Jim’s drums during the other breakdown transcend the disc to actually give the feeling that ey is sitting right in the room with you.

Authority Zero is the “Dookie” of 2004. 13 solid cuts that contain enough of a common thread and dedication to the music that nothing could possibly be heard as a weak link. “Andiamo” might not be on the to-listen-to list of many of the harder punk kids, but then again, something as classic as “Dookie” wasn’t until the fervor grew to a large enough din. Who else can actually mix ska, Korn, and Egyptian-style modes to create a song (Solidude).

Top Tracks: Revolution, Siempre Loco

Rating: 8.8/10

Authority Zero – Andiamo / 2004 Lava Records / 13 Tracks / http://www.authorityzero.com / http://www.lavarecords.com / Reviewed 01 September 2004

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