Ignite Our Darkest Days

Yet another band to find themselves better off back in the warm, embracing underground than in the cold, evil mainstream, Ignite have obviously learned a lesson in reaching beyond your lot in life. The disastrous major label release A Place Called Home only managed to give them six years of hiding and wound-licking. But they’ve eventually turned that burn into one hell of an album. The overall approach of Our Darkest Days has an inherent melodic attack that draws comparisons to Black Sails-era A.F.I. and the crisp approach and positive intent of 7 Seconds. Slipping between New York hardcore and SoCal pop punk with relative ease, this album is frustratingly catchy and inspiring thanks to its resoluteness in turning bad experiences into positive lessons. Naturally the band do reach beyond their ability at times — most notably with the soaring delivery that seems just out of reach on "Fear Is Our Tradition” — but seeing as this is their strongest release to date, it’s forgivable. (Abacus)