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61NRjPRDoZL. SL500 AA300 Back for their fourth studio album, Mesa, AZ’s AUTHORITY ZERO carries the flag for timely and politically-charged punk rock.

Like many of their older peers (BAD RELIGION, PENNYWISE, et al), Authority Zero works an in-your-face angle with their fast and ferocious punk rock chords laying down the foundation for crystal-clear vocals that convey emotion without becoming overbearing, though they break the mold on occasion to throw in some tasty ska and reggae grooves. STORIES OF SURVIVAL continues that musical tradition, while tackling the current Global Climate from economic downfall to the state of the ever-changing music industry.

After an intro courtesy of the late Winston Churchill’s “Blood, Sweat, Tears, and Toil” speech, “The New Pollution” recalls mid-90’s DOWN BY LAW with it’s up-tempo call-to-arms complemented perfectly by a chorus destined to become a crowd sing-along at future live shows. STORIES starts off right, grabbing you by the ears and strapping you in for the ride.

“Big Bad World” is a highlight of the record, a reggae-flavored number depicting the plight of the hard-working man “breaking their back for another day,” slaving to make ends meet while being physically, financially, and emotionally abused by those above them in the corporate hierarchy.

“Movement” and “The Remedy” also veer into the reggae and ska realms, reminding you of how effective the band is when locked into a groove.

After nearly 20 years as a band, Authority Zero has aged well – not necessarily changing their sound, but becoming tighter and more polished over time.

STORIES OF SURVIVAL will be available on June 22, 2010 via VIKING FUNERAL, a joint venture by Fletcher Dragge of PENNYWISE, Ken Seaton of Hardline Entertainment, and SUBURBAN NOIZE RECORDS.

Rating: 4/5

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