Ignition - Pointless

Year of Release: 2002
Label: independent
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 43:40:00

You know, you just gotta love California. Deep in the land of beaches and sunshine, everything seems to go on with a careless pace that allows its inhabitants to go about their business unbothered and with an endless sense of fun adventure, the progressive entity known as Ignition being no exception. Certainly not brash youngsters discovering that making music would be something cool to do, these four guys have recorded Pointless over a two year period and in the process covered a spectrum of accessible musical styles in a surprisingly coherent collection of songs that belies their taste for the instantly catchy coupled with a fascination for the possibilities of prog. In other words, this album is not a rundown through monumentally dazzling technical self-indulgence, but not one through short songs devoid of surprising tricks and all sharing the same nature either.

The focus is instead on brief songs with a concise character and concretely defined mission that the band sometimes chooses to adorn with relatively complex arrangements, jumpy time signatures, or a slightly eccentric bent, yet almost always retaining a pretty commercial tinge, one could say. Even then, however, there is somewhat of a curious diversity present throughout the entire affair, most likely due to the fact that it took so long to record it all, which often disperses stylistic approaches and makes bands try to show their entire arsenal. At one moment, Ignition will be delivering some simple-minded and harmless pop line, at another a sharp metal riff, and yet at another a fun-loving hard rock hook, most of the ammunition being inspired by eighties fare. And quite surprisingly, it works more often than not.

Not only that, but there is actually some really brilliant stuff to be found on this band's debut. The opening track, "Rebel Voices," opens with Brad Pogue singing somewhere in between Freddie Mercury (Queen) and Jon Oliva (Savatage), and being surrounded by a wonderfully dramatic song with desperate attitude and climaxing on a finishing heavy metal riff of great epic reach. "Cyber Kiss" is the album's other culminating moment, swaying mysteriously with its Middle Eastern hypnosis and drawing on a subtly intense power that drives the song forward. Elsewhere things reach high points at times, as in the hard rock appeal of "Pulse" or the initially elusive vocal melodies of "Crazy Street," but things never quite get as exhilarating as on the first two tracks mentioned.

Pointless is, generally speaking, a pretty good debut that Ignition can rely on as a solid starting point and a place of sanctuary when necessary. Brad Pogue's chameleon-like vocal abilities are certainly one of the band's main strengths, as is its openness to a variety of different musical styles, and if things continue in this direction this band should be clear of any trouble in the coming future. What's more, if its members manage to ditch the sporadic brazen demonstration of influences, as in the short but important part of "Giants In The Horizon" that recalls Rush's "Vital Signs" or the too Led Zeppelin-like acoustic progression on "Redwood Morning," as well as the general blandness of a couple of its tracks (particularly "Miracles"), they could be on to something big. Really, accessibly, and positively big.

Similar Artists: Rush, Marillion, late Queen, Elton John, UFO, Led Zeppelin

Rebel Voices (3:40) / Across The Fence (4:41) / Crazy Street (4:16) / Giants On The Horizon (6:21) / Two Trains One Track (5:35) / Cyber Kiss (4:05) / Miracles (4:32) / Pulse (3:10) / Pretty Ugly (3:55) / Redwood Morning (3:40)

Alan Bowman - keyboards
Brad Pogue - bass, vocals
Larry Rushing - drums
Paul Branton - guitars

Pointless (2002)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: April 21st 2002
Reviewer: Marcelo Silveyra
Artist website:
Hits: 1256
Language: english


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