Hair Of The Dog - Ignite
Spitfire Records
US Hard Rock
10 songs (38'57)
Release year: 2001
Spitfire Records
Reviewed by Mike

After hearing their first album and seeing them perform a couple of times live in support of their debut album, I thought Hair of the Dog had the potential to help resurrect the metal/hard rock music scene in the States. We all know that the US music scene is very pathetic now to say the least. But anyway, the band’s follow up album, Rise was a great album, although it did not quite measure up to the impressive debut. The self titled debut displayed a strong early Van Halen sound with some influences from Motorhead, and heavier Kiss. Can the band top its first two albums with this release? After hearing the track The Law online, I though for sure this would be the band’s breakthrough album. However, I have listened to the remainder of the album a few times now, and would have to rate this album behind both its predecessors. Ignite is not a bad album, but its failure to improve on its predecessors, or even equal them is a bit frustrating. This album has its highpoints, but conversely has some notable low points as well.

I became a bit skeptical when I picked this CD up at the music store and found it had been rewrapped. This means that someone tried the CD out, and put it back on the shelf without buying it. The opening track is one of the weakest on the CD. Alive is a groove driven track with a darker mood than any previous work. The guitars are tuned down a bit and the vocals are much more moody than in the past. Basically, this adds up for a “modern rock” style track, a style that I am not a fan of at all. This is surely a risk to put an experimental track such as this first, especially for a band known for delivering old-school heavy rock in the vein of the aforementioned bands. Perhaps the person who tried this CD before me and did not buy it heard this track, and was turned off enough not to listen to the rest. Therefore, he decided to put it back. The second track, Over You, Under Me see a return to the classic HOTD sound with a catchy groove and almost David Lee Roth style vocals at points in the song. With the next track, The Law, my mood really starts to improve… Motorhead’s Lemmy makes a guest appearance! Aggressive and catchy at the same time, this is the highlight track of the disc. In stark comparison, the next track completely ruins the mood for me again. Devil May Care may sound like a cool name for song, but quite frankly, this song is horrible. The guitar rhythm that prevails throughout this tune very, very simplistic with a happy, poppy sound ala the band Lit. What a letdown right after hearing a Lemmy inspired track! Continuing on this roller coaster ride, we come to the next track, Between Darkness & Light. It is an average heavy rock song, that would be easily overlooked. And that rounds out the very inconsistent first half of the disc. It seems to me that the band is somehow searching for a direction to go in, or trying to find their sound. In my opinion, they hit the nail on the head with their debut album, so if it ain’t broke why fix it?

The second half of the disc starts with an upbeat, catchy hard rock song, One More for Saturday Night. This track features a strong chorus line and and excellent guitar solo. However, I am noticing a consistently weak and at times lazy rhythm guitar part throughout the album (the solos are still there however!). I’m sure the departure of guitar player John Sepetys has a lot to do with this. After the release of Rise, John announced that he had developed a tragic condition in his hand which was slowly eroding his ability to play the guitar and perform even basic tasks with his hand. He found that he could no longer play the most basic riffs that he used to play in his sleep. Rather than hold the band back, John left the band. This is really a terrible thing to happen, especially to someone who plays music for a living. It sounds to me like John gave the band a lot of energy and inspiration with his guitar, and that his absence has sort of taken a piece of the band with him. Having said this, the title track is next, and delivers some of that missing energy. This is a fast paced rock song in the vein of WASP, which is a band that I appreciate. Ignite sounds like it easily could have come from the band’s first two releases. Well, the next track, Grit was written by bassist Brain Saputo. This track is another modern sounding, slow paced tune with more of the down tuned guitars. Main problem here is that it is hard to hear Brian’s voice throughout parts of the song and the style just doesn’t fit what HOTD is all about. The album concludes with an average ballad, Shine and a good heavy party rock tune, Hellride.

This is not a necessarily a bad album, but Ignite is surely the weak point of the band’s catalog so far. The first two releases are much more consistent and energetic than this one. If you ever enjoyed, or still enjoy Kiss, early Van Halen, and Motorhead, then pick up HOTD’s first two albums. If you like those two discs, give Ignite a listen before you buy it, but I wouldn’t recommend buying it blind. Lemmy definitely scores the band some points here.

Killing Songs :
The Law, Ignite, Hellride
Mike quoted 68 / 100
Other albums by Hair Of The Dog that we have reviewed:
Hair Of The Dog - Rise reviewed by Danny and quoted 88 / 100
0 readers voted
You did not vote yet.
Vote now

There are no replies yet to this review
Be the first one to post a reply!