This album caught me off guard at first listen. I thought that Ignite were punk, bordering on melodic hardcore. But the first song “Begin Again” is straight up glam metal.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that this is a bad thing. It was just unexpected. Throughout A War Against You We hear soaring harmonies and bombastic riffs that are fun and infectious. Like a more epic Pennywise with searing guitar solos, which makes sense, seeing as vocalist Zoli Téglás also fronted Pennywise for a few years.
It’s been a decade since Ignite released Our Darkest Days (2006), so it is understandable that Ignite would have changed their sound since we heard them last. That said, it isn’t a complete departure from the Ignite we know. They have the speed and urgency of punk, crossed with the listenability of stadium rock.
The band borrows from a range of genres to fuel their political charge. “This Is A War” commences with an intro riff that has filthy grungy guitar tone, before breaking into a fast gallop. “Oh No Not Again” musically gives a nod to Foo Fighters’ “My Hero” whilst delivering a message of unrest. Téglás’ vocals are as much power metal as they are punk rock. There is even a bit of a European flair brought into the OC punk band’s mix, with the album closing ballad “Work”, first sung in English, and later repeated in what I presume is Téglás’ native tongue of Hungarian.
Thematically, A War Against You is a war cry against war. Téglás addresses the very topical plight of refugees worldwide, something personally relevant to him and his family, who immigrated to America in the early 1960’s. There is also a definite eco-warrior buzz going on. Despite the serious topics, the music is still positive and uplifting, thanks to the vocal delivery style.
A War Against You is anthemic Cali-punk with both blistering attitude and soaring harmonies. And as odd as that sounds, it works.
For fans of: Rise Against, Nations Afire, Pennywise, H2O, Strike Anywhere