“Three years, is a long, long time” sang Ignite on their critically acclaimed last album, ‘Our Darkest Days’, but little did we know that it would be a decade until the band finally returned with a brand new record. Zoli Téglás‘ hefty stint taking over from Jim Lindberg in Pennywise during their ‘All Or Nothing’ rotation put a hold on the Orange County punks recording, but 2016 brings us the long awaited ‘A War Against You’ as Ignite bring back their melodic hardcore exactly as it was before: heartfelt political anthems with a passion for activism and making a difference.
There’s no doubt that the Téglás‘ vocal performance is the pinnacle of the success that the band has seen over the years; no band in hardcore can match the impressive singing and, as a result, the catchiness of the choruses. ‘Nothing Can Stop Me’ shows the man at his best, and he sounds even better on ‘Alive’ where he’s accompanied by the obligatory “woah”s on backing vocals. Ignite may also be the only hardcore band in the business that can pull off an excellent ballad, as proven by the slow ‘Work’, which closes the album with a calm resting piece.
There’s still plenty of punk aggression in Ignite, and any long-term fans of the band will vouch that the lyrics reflect everything that the band stand for. Refugees and immigrants take most of the focus on the record (Téglás comes from a Hungarian family that emigrated to the States) and standing up for your heritage and your country.
‘Where I’m From’ details the life of a small town refugee, and is saturated in passionate feelings personified through the attitude of punk rock. ‘Begin Again’ and ‘The Suffering’ take a long hard look at the state of the world and what’s being done (or not done) to help it; as long as there’s politics in the world, there will be Ignite to comment on it, and they’ll be doing it with style.
So much has happened to Ignite since they last got together and made music that it would’ve been completely understandable if ‘A War Against You’ wasn’t up to scratch, sounded different, or didn’t happen altogether, yet everything Ignite touches seem to turn to gold. The rounded and more melodic tone that worked so brilliantly on ‘Our Darkest Days’ is ever present here which gives them their unique sound. You can’t confuse Ignite with any other band, as soon as you hear it, there’s only one band it could be, and there’s only one band you would want it to be.
Written by Mike Heath (@MikeBeef)