With Authority Zero’s last release “Broadcasting To The Nations” having been release a little over a year ago, the band had more of their story to tell and decided to hit the studio for yet another full-length release, this one self-released and titled “Persona Non Grata”.
“Persona Non Grata” feels like a carryover from their last album and I mean that in the most sincere of ways. “Broadcasting To The Nations” is one of my favorite AZ albums in their catalog and “Persona Non Grata” finds the band effortlessly blending their influences from song to song.
The first track on the album “A Blind Eye” kicks things into gear with a ripping guitar part and immediately jumps into some up-tempo ska/reggae influences. The song continues to alternate between those sounds as it tells the tale of those who choose to ignore the wrongs in the world and in their own lives. The second track “Derailed” alternates between melodic hardcore and slower punk rock as it is more of an introspective song about where we’re heading in life.
These two songs do well to sum up what Authority Zero is all about. Their songs are insightful and sometimes introspective but also have a political edge to them as they blur the lines between reggae and punk music. Songs like “Atom Bomb” bring political and socially conscious ska punk back to the masses while the smooth reggae songs of “Shake The Ground” provides a positive message of letting go of the past. “The Bright Side” is one of the fastest and catchiest of all the Authority Zero songs out there.
“Persona Non Grata”, which means an unwelcomed or unacceptable person, fits the overall theme of the album as the band seems like they are still trying to find their place in this world and in the music scene in general. In truth, without Authority Zero there would be an unwelcomed void in the music world. They have always been one of the most personable bands in the punk scene, have always had a positive message and thought-provoking lyrics and truly love what they do. There are plenty of us old punks out there that are still listening and many younger punks that are picking up on the sounds of Authority Zero and they’ll always be welcomed in my life.
Bottom Line: Continuing with the trend of “Broadcasting To The Nations”, this release is just as strong and memorable if not more so than before and the band is easily becoming one of the elder statesmen of the punk scene.
Notable Tracks: A Blind Eye, Shake The Ground, The Bright Side, Atom Bomb, Rights This Way