Fresh off the release of their latest EP The Back Nine, Authority Zero has announced the self-release of their 8th album, Ollie Ollie Oxen Free on June 18th. The long-running Arizona-based melodic punk rock/reggae band kept themselves busy during the pandemic and continued to make music. The 13 track album was produced by Cameron Webb and features guest appearances from Jim Lindberg (Pennywise) and Iagri Shuhei (HEY-SMITH).
Authority Zero is an American punk rock band from Mesa, Arizona. The style of of their music is rooted in reggae and skate punk. The band is currently comprised of Jason DeVore (lead vocals), Mike Spero (bass), Chris Dalley (drums), and Eric Walsh (guitar).
Ollie Ollie Oxen Free takes a line from hide and seek to encourage their fans to leave the pandemic induced depression behind and to celebrate life. The phrase comes from children’s games and is used to indicate that players who are hiding can come out into the open without losing the game; that the game is over or that sides within a game have changed. During the pandemic, singer Jason DeVore saw families torn apart by political views and COVID-19. Now that that divide has somewhat subside, it is time to finally come back out and start being yourself again.
”The phrasing in the title track stems from the idea of ‘come out, come out, wherever you are.’ It keeps the positive side of 2020 in mind. People have been trapped within themselves, depressed, inside of their houses. We’re separated, politically, between the left and right. It’s a matter of come out, feel free and feel a sense of no fear in some regard.”-Jason DeVore.
The title track rattles those cages with DeVore’s encouraging lyrics, the frenetic blue of Christopher Dalley’s urgent drumming and Spero’s bass, coupled with new guitarist Eric Walsh’s muscular licks. Authority Zero brought along a few friends for the ride—Iagri Shuhei from HEY-SMITH features on “Ear to Ear,” while Jim Lindberg from Pennywise is a guest on “Don’t Tear Me Down.” Below is the finalized track list for the album.
- Ollie Ollie Oxen Free
- Nowheres Land
- The Good Fight
- Fire Off Another
- Ear to Ear (feat. Iagri Shuhei of HEY-SMITH)
- The Back Nine
- Fully Operational
- Seas and Serpents
- A New Day
- Don’t Tear Me Down (feat. Jim Lindberg of Pennywise)
- Have You Ever
- For What It’s Worth
For this album, the band broke from tradition and returned to producer Cameron Webb. Webb last worked with Authority Zero on 2013’s “The Tipping Point.”
”Working with a guy like Cameron is great because he’s just as invested in the writing process and the music in general as you are; the artist. He was writing in there with us. It felt like having a fifth member for a little while.”-Mike Spero
Webb enhanced the music and lyrics of Spero and DeVore, who hunkered down for three months during the pandemic’s grip to hash out the songs for the album. Spero and DeVore were committed to the lyrics, melodies, and music—until Webb came along. Yet, that necessarily isn’t a bad thing. The band ended up with different lyrical content than they had begun with. Through his lyrics, DeVore likes to send the type pf message that he is always looking at the positive side of things, and encourages his listeners to grow in that same way. Cameron Webb was able to take these messages and push them even further. If one thing is clear, it is that Webb was the perfect fit as a producer for this album.
Webb brought the best out of Dalley as well, by letting him unleash his inner Keith Moon, who ironically is one of his heroes. The titular track, “Ollie Ollie Oxen Free,” was written around one of Dalley’s drum ideas. Spero was so inspired that he penned the music overnight, “I had been told by other producers to simply—keep it simple, stupid. He (Webb) told me to play the weirdest stuff I could think of. He told me to go off where necessary. That was something I never experienced as a drummer before”.
Ollie Ollie Oxen Free is more of the times of 2020. It focusses more on the positive side of things that came from the pandemic, rather than the negative. It is time for the game to change, it’s time for all of us to come out of hiding. The album is an uplifting escape from the negativity of the world, and is a reminder that there is a shining light at the end of the tunnel.
Make sure to pre-save Ollie Ollie Oxen Free and to look for it on June 18th!
Keep up with Authority Zero!
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