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Not long after a brief collaboration with Yngwie to perform vocals on his tribute to his influences album “Inspiration”, Mark Boals decided to take a stab at being a solo artist, and unfortunately the results were not quite as pretty as he looked on the album cover. I guess there must have been some sort of fixation at the time in Japan (which is the only place where this album can be found) with men who not only had the glam look, but flirted with being a full blown transvestite; some of his pictures in the album sleeve genuinely had me fooled. But I digress, the contents of this album are essentially a mish mash of the various styles that 80s cock rock flirted with about 10 years before this album came out, most of it done quite poorly I might add.
The best songs on here are the first two tracks “Jane” and “Don’t Dance with the Devil”, both of which are heavily similar to some of Yngwie’s songs in the early 90s with Goran Edman. Not the best I’ve ever heard, but enjoyable, and with some pretty awesome guitar leads provided by Earl Baker, whom I’ve never heard of. “Find our way” is a somewhat decent though unmoving ballad featuring some decent acoustic guitar lines, but pretty much nothing that crosses over into being inspirational.
The rest of this album is pretty fucking bad, and it has nothing to do with the musicians or Boals’ singing, but everything to do with the songwriting. “My Turn” gets my pick for one of the cheesiest sounding piano ballads I’ve ever heard, even compared to Edguy’s “Land of the Miracle” or even Cinderella’s “Don’t Know what you got till it’s gone”. “Tallahassee Nightmare” (I’ll say) and “All Messed Up” are both extremely lame fast rock songs with repetitive blues riffs. Hey Mark, Eddie Van Halen just called and he’s suing you for ripping off Hot for Teacher not once, but twice.
The rest of the stuff on here is far worse, leaving the realm of being cheesy or rock and roll plagiarism and morphing into a dark comedy of poorly conceived songs. “She’s not daddy’s little girl” starts off with a promising intro before morphing into a quasi-blues rock driven bore fest, making me nostalgic for Poison’s “Nothing but a Good Time”. “I’m sorry” is a cliché blues song a vocal performance that makes you think its being sung by a drag queen. “Broken Heart” is an absolutely boring acoustic power ballad that put me to sleep faster than anything Firehouse ever put out. As for “Rip your hair out”, if you listen to it all the way through, that’s what you’ll do.
I bought this CD a while before getting any of the later Mark Boals solos stuff, and the reason for the delay is that I thought it sounded exactly like this. Unless you have a taste for the most generic and poorly conceived acts to come out of the 80s Glam scene, this album will not agree with you. It lives up to the name “Ignition” only if in the manner of lighting off a series of brain farts and then calling it an album. You’d genuinely get more pleasure trying to push a porcupine through the fence the way certain farmers would a sheep.