Defending all the things!
Bird Attack records can’t seem to put a step wrong with their release lineup. With the greatest from the British scene amongst their line-up as well as top rated global powerhouses like Counterpunch, Forus, Belvedere and, my all time number 1 favourites, MUTE included in their roster it feels like they looked at my taste in music and decided that was exactly what they were going to exclusively release! In a line-up that consists of my 2016 pick for album of the year and 2017's current contender, Bonsai Mammoth by Darko, of course it’s Bird Attack that give the Darko masterpiece its first serious competition in my eyes with the incredible Authority Zero and their brand new album, Broadcasting To The Nations.
The hairs on my arms start to stand up as I hear “let’s go zero” chanted when firing up this album. I’m not usually one to jump the gun on my predictions of whether a record will be good or not but I hear the chant and flashback to all the times I’ve seen AZ live and I face the facts. They’d have to write an electronic house concept album for me to not enjoy what’s about to happen, even then I’d give it a good college try! And then just like that I’m into it and greeted with scorching pace drums, gritty deep bass and skate punk riffs. We’re into it. First One In The Pit is a machine gun of a track firing at a thousand miles an hour and should be the new anthem for every pit freak out there.
For the uninitiated, Authority Zero have many an arrow in their quiver. A strong skate punk start plays a fitting tribute to the Epitaph heyday whilst also being low key better than anything the bands they are honouring have produced in recent years. With Reconciliation we get to witness the birth of a beautifully harmonised classic with all the right woahs in all the right places and the pace doesn’t slow through Destiny And Demise. The gears shift over to the offbeat afterwards, title tune Broadcasting to the Nations is a ska punk skankathon with obligatory tasty punk chorus and in Summer Sickness things slow right down and we’re treated to staggeringly good vocals from Jason DeVore. His intonation and inflection is just a delight and shown to full effect in a chilled and beautiful sounding reggae track. Things start really mixing up afterwards with AZ clearly having a great time flexing all their creative muscle. If you are a fan of any type of punk rock, ska, or just alternative music in general you’ll find something that will set off your incredible track radar. Revolution Riot is for the ska kids what Reconciliation is for the skate punk kids as One Way Track Kid is for the pop punk kids.
Everything here is of the utmost quality and sounds like a dream. If I had to pick an album to be stranded on a desert island with I would strongly lean towards Broadcasting To The Nations. There’s a huge diverse range of punk to reggae in one place. I don’t want to compare this too much to previous albums but the mixture of styles hasn’t been this varied since Andiamo and the production on Broadcasting To The Nations is a million times that of the 13 year old former. So am I saying this is the best album they’ve ever created? Well, in a nutshell, yes. For everyone from the Authority Zero journeyman to the master this is the new go to album. Whatever your taste I defy you not to find a track on here that is something you can love deeply. You could ask me to pick a standout track and to that I would say there is no standout. Revolution Riot is exceptional, same applies to finisher No Guts No Glory and also La Diabla. There is clear mass appeal and single opportunities with Reconciliation, the title track and really everything else in the thirteen songs taking up residence within. Sum 41 claimed it but Authority Zero really delivered on all killer no filler. In an age where people seem to listen to full albums less and less this is one I’ve had on from start to finish since it graced my presence.
In conclusion, Authority Zero have not only hit a personal best and bolstered the already outstanding reputation of Bird Attack Records but they’ve also set in stone the fact that they are one of premier global punk outfits in the world today.
Defend Skate Punk.
Defend Pop Punk
Defend Ska Punk
Defend Reggae Punk
Defend Street Punk
Defend it all with one easy purchase.
Stream and download Broadcasting To The Nations here: https://birdattackrecords.bandcamp.com/album/broadcasting-to-the-nations
Like Authority Zero here: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorityZero/
This review was written by Dan Peters.