Authority Zero

support What Are You Like + Organiseret Støj
author PP date 21/08/14 venue UnderWerket, Copenhagen, DEN

Copenhagen is being spoiled for good punk rock and hardcore shows this fall. A season that will see the likes of The Menzingers, The Ghost Inside, and many others visit the city was started tonight with a passionate and energetic showing from Authority Zero, who are celebrating twenty years as a band. UnderWerket provides the basement style confines ideal for a small punk show once again, and in tow we have two local bands providing supporting duties who are no strangers to Copenhagen live circuit.

Organiseret Støj

First up is Organiseret Støj, who have been under heavy criticism previously from yours truly in a live environment. Tonight, they are a much better band playing relatively tightly and with decent melodies overall. The street punk style coarse vocals are still a divisive factor about the band thanks to their rather monotonous style, but overall the band's melodic cross between The Casualties and Star Fucking Hipsters sounds acceptable compared to last time. A couple of songs see their drummer singing clean vocals instead, and there's a track that resembles the awesome skacore of Leftöver Crack, but overall the band is still plagued by a lack of good songs in general. There are a few good cuts in between but also a lot of anonymous material that fails to make an impression. There's a distinct basement punk / ungdomshuset vibe to their set, which suits a small venue like UnderWerket well, but will probably not do the band any favours on a bigger stage.

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What Are You Like

Next up, local band number two, What Are You Like, who have been a frequent appearance at smaller punk events in Copenhagen for quite some time now despite not having any recorded songs available on the internet just yet. There's probably a reason for that, which is showcased tonight as the band are virtually all over the punk rock map experimenting with different styles. They play with decent energy, but the inconsistency in songwriting shows big time as the vast majority of the tracks are rather generic punk rock that don't leave much of an impression on first listen. The exception is the last song which is extremely catchy, and sees a few people pack towards the front microphone to sing along. Needs more work in terms of songs is the current verdict.

Authority Zero

The difference between Authority Zero and the support bands is immediately obvious from the opening track and its followup "Brick In The Wave". The band erupt with a ton of energy, bouncing off each other on the tiny stage, initiating a circle pit near the front right away. At first, the vocals are way too loud versus the guitars, but this is quickly fixed and we're in for an hour and twenty minutes of melodic hardcore / punk rock godhood. The band mentions Groezrock and Punk Rock Holiday having heard that many people saw them play at either of the two festivals, which establishes rapport between the crowd and the band. From here onwards, the band chat with the crowd in between songs in an extremely down-to-earth and friendly manner, making the venue feel like a small community as we mosh, jump around, and sing along to their songs. "Liberateducation" in particular has a good sing along during its 'So here we go again" anthemic chorus parts, but other tracks too receive moderate sing alongs and fist pumps throughout the night.

One of the best parts about Authority Zero's music is its huge variety. They can slow things down to a ska/reggae song like "Big Bad World", or speed things up to high-octane melodic hardcore fueled punk rock that creates circle pits everywhere. Even the acoustically played track "Today We Heard The News" (which is dedicated to late Tony Sly) works well tonight. Whichever the style, their energy is infectious and convincing, and deserving of a much bigger audience. As I watch the band tear it apart during "Revolution" to a ridiculously good response from the crowd, and see everyone gathering around the mic to help sing along to "Find Your Way", I'm wondering how it is possible that Rise Against will be playing to a 10 times bigger audience in a couple of months' time to a sold out concert and there are only about 50 to 60 people at UnderWerket tonight. The world is unfair like that. They're missing out - after 1 hour and 20 minutes we leave the concert extremely satisfied from one of the most energetic and passionate bands the genre has seen.

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Photo from Groezrock 2012 courtesy of Lykke Nielsen, as no photographers were available for tonight's show.

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