There are a couple of bands that I often forget about for no reason but, as soon as they hit my speakers on a random playlist, I am reminded of just how good they are. Authority Zero is one of those bands. I think they are super underrated and I have always loved catching them live but, for some reason, I just never think to listen to them. It’s a shame really because they have a great sound and amazing energy even on their recordings. All of that being said, when I got an email saying that Record Thieves features ex Authority Zero drummer Jim Wilcox, my eyes lit up. I knew nothing about Record Thieves but I knew that with Jim Wilcox on drums, it was sure to be a treat.
“Sacrifice” kicks this album off with the amount of energy I would have expected. A perfect blend of something like Authority Zero, Off With Their Heads, and Propagandhi, I was instantly in love. The energy and sound is familiar but also very refreshing. I feel like bands just don’t make music like this anymore so to know that Record Thieves is staying true to all of their influences (it’s a bit of a supergroup from the Denver music scene but I’m honestly unfamiliar with the other members’ histories) and kicking it a bit old school absolutely made my day.
The energy seems to be magnified for “Work It Out” which was a favorite track of mine. It’s the type of song that makes you want to move and has you missing live music more than usual. It’s a catchy track that got a few listens before I was able to move onto “Transmission Clear” which continues with the high energy feeling that Record Thieves does oh so well while bringing in a more sensitive vibe to the album. The only reason I feel like this track comes off as a bit more sensitive is the vocals and lyrics. There’s just a sense of emotion that comes through with every word that takes this album in a different direction but the instrumentation and vocal styling are still the same punchy and energetic feeling as in the first two tracks.
I really tried to focus on the lyrics for “Sunburn” and it just made me fall deeper in love with this group. Although I didn’t hear any life-changing revelations in the lyrics of this song, the realness of them hit me right in the gut and I lost myself in this track completely and almost missed the point when the album moved onto “Actors For Hire” which shook me back to reality with a truly driving drum beat and a more hurried pace before the vocals broke the building tension. Much like “Transmission Clear” I got something heartbreakingly real about this track. This track also seems to lean more towards a hardcore sound like that of Strung Out which made it another favorite of mine.
The guitar riff that kicks off “Who’s Driving” has this odd way of pulling you in just in time for the rest of the band to come in with a sense of power as if knocking you off your feet. The anthemic feeling of this track is off the charts and I feel like of all the tracks so far, this one really gives you a taste of all the things that Record Thieves have to offer. From the lyrical content to the powerful drumming and stellar riffs, this song just really has it all and it would be impossible to catch all of the amazing elements in this track with just one listen.
The title track of this album has an opening to it that really stood out to me due to the almost subdued nature of it but, have no fear, as the rest of the band comes in, the album goes right back into the high energy that they do so well. That being said, whereas “Actors For Hire” leaned towards a hardcore style, I feel like “Wasting Time” leans a little bit more towards some good old-fashioned pop-punk both lyrically and stylistically making it, you guessed it, another favorite of mine. Although I loved the pop-punk feel of “Wasting Time”, “The Feed” shot the record back into the world of hardcore influence with a sense of ease and vengeance. Another track with slamming drums and driving guitars, I can not explain to you the amount of energy that you get from just listening to this band. I know we are still a ways off from seeing touring bands live but I will absolutely be going wherever I need to go in order to catch Record Thieves live.
“Daily Revolver” has a very skatepunk vibe to it that can be heard throughout this album but really seems to come to fruition during this track. It’s a fun and quick punk track that instantly had me motivated to do whatever I needed to do today. That motivational energy continues with “Crown of Foil” but in a different way. There’s a sense of power in this track and the guitar solos (especially the one at the beginning) that is beyond perfect. “We can run, but we can’t hide”. Those lyrics are honestly pretty simple and not super original but the way they are presented in this track makes them something special.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and the end of ‘Wasting Time’ is “Slumber Party” which seems to soften the bad news of this album ending. I feel like there are similarities between this track and “Sacrifice” which makes it feel like this album has truly come full circle. Although I never wanted it to end, I was glad it ended on “Slumber Party”.
There’s something to be said for supergroups. New bands are always fun to check out but I feel like bands full of members that have been doing this for years just really know how to create an album that is amazing from beginning to end. They know how to encapsulate the energy of a live show into an album and that’s one thing that I always look for. This may be the first album from Record Thieves but I truly hope it’s not the last!
My Favorite Track(s): “Work It Out”; “Actors For Hire”; “Wasting Time”
For Fans Of: Skatepunk; High Energy; Perfection
Mosh-ability: 8 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Artie slept on the back of the couch; Autumn slept upstairs
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 10 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 9 out of 10
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