Authority Zero – Persona Non Grata (Concrete Jungle Records / Thousand Island Records / Melodic Punk Style, 2018)

It seems somewhat bizarre to me that this band from Mesa, Arizona have been around for 25 years now, having been releasing albums for the past 17 years; this being their 7th full length. I’ve dipped in and out of checking these guys out for a while now as some friends have rated them rather highly.

To be perfectly honest, I’ve been fairly ambivalent toward their output, asides from previous effort Broadcasting to the Nations (Bird Attack, 2017), which I’d peg as their career highlight. By and large, I think the problem for me (asides from Broadcasting to the Nations) has been that although the band are clearly technically proficient, they seem to have been stricken with what I like to call “Face to Face syndrome”: I kinda enjoy listening while the album is playing, but the songs just aren’t that memorable. Well, to me anyways. I just feel like this record just washes over me without having any kind of impact of any kind.

It’s a fairly non-committal Tony of Nurgle rating of 6/10 for this one I’m afraid. I always feel like kind of a dick if I have to make statements of relative ambivalence about records, as I’m sure plenty of people will actually dig this, and the band themselves are clearly passionate about what they are doing. On that basis, if you have a chunk of time to spare, you can listen to the album on Spotify using the player below:

You can pick this up from Thousand Island Records (in the US / Canada / Australia) on CD or limited edition black vinyl LP. In the EU, this is available from Melodic Punk Style on CD (the vinyl versions are sold out), or from Concrete Jungle Records.

Tony of Nurgle is a true child of the North, recently returned to Yorkshire and residing in Leeds (after close to a decade living in exile in Croydon and South East London). He used to co-run a specialist record store in Manchester (Roadkill Records), and also several years as a promoter, and put on shows for the likes of Leatherface, the Loved Ones, Lucero, Minus The Bear, These Arms Are Snakes, Spy vs Spy, Latterman etc. He also spent several years DJing at shady rock clubs in Manchester, and started the infamous Thursday night "punk room" at Jilly's Rockworld. Also responsible for Middle Finger Response, and collaborated with a couple of friends on a monthly night called Refuse to Lose, which will still occasionally reunite the original DJ line-up - next event at Retro in Manchester on 07/09/2019. Apart from that, it's all bitterness and a jaundiced view of human nature, occasionally skateboarding, always exhausted, often reading books with maps in the front.

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