Album Review Ignite – ‘A War Against You’
US-punk/melodic hardcore outfit Ignite had a rather strange last decade. Although they haven’t released an album since ‘Our Darkest Days’ in 2006, the band and their members were quite active touring around the world with Ignite and with other projects and bands. Most prominently Ignite’s frontman Zoli Teglas got involved with Pennywise on their last album ‘All Or Nothing’. Now Ignite found some time to write and record the follow-up to ‘Our Darkest Days’. The new album ‘A War Against You’ will be released on January 8.
‘A War Against You’ comes with thirteen songs. All of them other than ‘Work’ are around the 3-minute mark, short and punchy, just as you would expect it from a modern punk band. Ignite’s music has been described as punk or melodic hardcore. On ‘A War Against You’ there is not a lot of hardcore to be heard though. The songs are quite polished, catchy bordering some clichés and lack the speed and aggression to qualify for the label ‘hardcore’.
The album starts with the melodic a-cappella-chorus of ‘Begin Again’ which reminds me of some 80s big hair band sound before the guitars crash in and move the song into an up-tempo pop-punk track. Lyrics are an important part of Ignite’s music. They clearly have a message and touch topics like the refugee crisis in Europe, immigration and US foreign policy. The topics are quite heavy so the happy pop-punk sound doesn’t really work for me. Conveying these messages calls for some more aggression rather than these corny lyrics and melodies. A couple of examples: In ‘Oh No Not Again’ the band criticises US foreign invasion from the perspective of a person living in such a country yet they combine it again with a chorus that sounds more like 80s big-hair-sound. My favourite though is ‘Where I’m From’. The song is about the life of an immigrant in a small country town. The chorus with ‘I’m a small-town hardcore refugee’ is just a little bit too much for me.
This all sounds like a big bashing. However, besides the fact that the album is very polished and one or the other lyrical blooper, the album is quite entertaining. Fast, catchy and punchy songs, a good production and some meaningful lyrics make this album enjoyable. I just would have liked to hear more heavier and aggressive tracks like ‘This Is A War’ and ‘How Is This Progress?’. These songs are the strongest on ‘A War Against You’. Ignite shift into second gear, get a bit more anarchic and just sound rougher. ‘A War Against You’ is not a bad album but I had hoped for more.
6 of 10