Authority Zero's fifth album is a showcase for their ability to deliver straight-ahead punk rock. It'll likely make longtime fans happy while struggling to convert new ones.
Although Authority Zero has shown some diversity in their sound in the past, The Tipping Point, their fifth studio album, is a showcase for the band's ability to deliver straight-ahead punk rock. That doesn't necessarily make for a challenging record, but it's at least an energizing one, a solid effort that recalls Bad Religion and Pennywise (well, that brief period when Pennywise was a good band). Singer Jason DeVore's voice, gruff but melodic enough for punk, anchors the band. He sort of has to, considering the rest of Authority Zero's roster has turned over since their last album.
The band is adept at full-throttle rockers such as "No Other Place", "The Tipping Point" and "Shakedown in Juarez", but they also handle the catchier songs with aplomb. "Take Or Leave It" in particular works as a singalong because band is savvy enough to augment DeVore's vocals with strong melodic guitar chords and bass lines. Less convincing are the band's reggae-flavored tracks, "Struggle" and "Today We Heard the News", but they at least work as well-placed change of pace songs in the middle of the collection. The Tipping Point is the kind of album that will satisfy longtime punk fans while simultaneously struggling to gain the band any new converts.