November 1, 2006

CD Review: Re:Ignition - Empty Heart, Loaded Gun

Re:Ignition's debut album, Empty Heart, Loaded Gun, is a blend of hard rocking tracks and pit turning aggression while still remaining on the accessible side of the scale. It took a few listens, but this album has grown on me and is a good example of good rock and roll that doesn't go out of its way to cater to the masses.

The band was formed on the shoulders of Skinlab's Steev Esquivel on guitar and Snake on bass. Now, Skinlab is one of those bands with an intriguing name that I never got around to listening to. This may sound like I am singing a familiar tune if you have read many of my past reviews, but its true. The more bands I listen to, the more there are left to listen to. A guy needs to make room to listen to his favorites right? Anyway, I am always open to checking out other bands, and this may be a good opening to check out Skinlab. Anyway, this is the new band that the pair have created and we are at the dawn of the age of Re:Ignition.

Re:Ignition is a band that has a sound that always seems to be on the verge of exploding. The energy that is underlying the recorded sound is plainly evident. It is almost like they are holding back for the studio, but only just barely. Even when they are into one of the more mellow excursions you can feel it bubbling just beneath the surface. A raging creation set to be let loose upon the stage. When you listen to this, just think what it would be like to be in the midst of the pit when that energy breaks loose.

From the opening strains of "Short Memory" I can see the fists in the air. Not metal by a longshot, but hard rock that is driving and just surges forward. The energy pushes forward into "Like a Beating" and "Loosely Tied Ends." "Lies & Money" opens with a bit more of an open sound to open before adding the more crunch, that is followed by the more mellow strains of "By a Thread" which still surges with energy burning beneath it.

Vocalist Dave Moore has an interesting voice. It has a deep strength behind it, belied by his style of laid back aggression. That may not make sense, but listen to him, there is definitely a restrained quality to his voice but it has an explosive quality, at times reminding me of Glenn Danzig. The guitars have a harsh edge to them that is undeniable, nothing special in terms of lead work, but given the live environment I could hear them really causing a ruckus. The rhythm section is nothing special, but they get the job done.

Bottomline. I like this album. It didn't flat out blow me away, but that aggressiveness and harsh edge is undeniably infectious. This is a live band trapped in a studio, a prisoner of the sound board. The resulting album is strong, but I can tell that their hearts lie with the stage where they can let everything out.

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