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External Affairs
Maple Jam/Bellum Records

Nashville, Tennessee might be internationally known as the metropolis of country music but every now and then a rock band flies off from their nest. Such is the case for Ligion, whose music has similarities to the meaty intensity of their Nashville brethren Three Doors Down. Ligion's debut album External Affairs on Maple Jam/Bellum Records, produced by Greg Ladanyi (co-producer for Don Henley), is a steady flow of consistently great modern rock tunes. The rhythm section of drummer Johannes and bass player Levi excels at kneading rumbles along the melodic folds. The guitar riffs of Seth and June, who also sing backup, are exhilarating, reaching fast and furious rates. The vocal registers of lead singer Ligion himself have an intrinsic likeness to Trapt's lead singer Chris Brown. The combination of all these elements make for an album that has the same merits as any album from Crossfade, Shinedown or HIM.

It is hard to say which tracks stand out because all of them are kneaded and woven so perfectly with excellently placed tempo changes and transitional chords that even a producer like Mutt Lange (AC/DC, Shania Twain, Def Leppard, The Corrs) has to be amazed by and should feel like he has something to learn from this album. The placement of the tracks is meticulously done where the band does four rounds of rigorous hard rock tempo numbers that build up adrenaline and then the album wanes down with the rock ballad "Pins And Needles," which combines soaring guitar flourishes and orchestral string arrangements. The album returns to its turbulent riffs and accelerated hard rock tempos. June also adds in some keyboards which packs the songs with a fatter installation to create a more portly sound. Ligion's massive sound is reminiscent of bands like Three Days Grace, Default, Trust Company, and Thornley.

The lyrics have a similarity to Three Days Grace in that they look inside the narrator of their words. They are introspective and go into the deep recesses of the soul and hope to rid itself of toxins and lingering painful emotions. The lyrics are like a cleansing process with phrases like "All this time I've waited patiently to find the other side of me/ So far it hasn't come to be/ Yeah, wasted nights where do they all come from." All of the songs have Ligion and June's stamp on them with a hand full of other songwriters like their producer Ladanyi and B. Daly.

Ligion's debut album External Affairs is pretty cool. The songs are sewn meticulously with a great arena rock sound in each track. They have all the ingredients that make for a power rock band, and all that coming out of Nashville. Does Nashville know they sowed this? It's a nice surprise and one that compliments their music town notoriety.

-Susan Frances

Track listing:
1. On The Way
2. Lost My Car
3. Get Over Me
4. Reach
5. Pins And Needles
6. Weak (The International War)
7. Come On
8. For You
9. The Other Side
10. Hey Hey (I Don't Care)
11. Carry Me

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