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One of the less celebrated bands on the Dischord label, Ignition mainly offered D.C.-style emocore of the post-Fugazi/Rites of Spring/Dag Nasty variety. Vocalist Alec MacKaye -- brother of Fugazi's Ian, and formerly of the Untouchables and the Faith -- reteamed with ex-Faith bandmate Chris Bald, now on guitar instead of bass, in the summer of 1986. (Bald, along with most of the other Faith members, had been part of the recently defunct emo pioneers Embrace.) They were joined by the rhythm section of bassist Chris Thomson, who occasionally doubled on saxophone, and drummer Dante Ferrando, who'd previously played with D.C. scene staples Iron Cross and Gray Matter. The group debuted with two 7" singles, "Sinker" and "Anger Means," in early 1988, and followed those with their debut album, Machination, later in the year. They also contributed a track to the Dischord-released benefit compilation State of the Union. A further EP, the six-song The Orafying Mysticle of...Ignition, appeared in early 1990, but spelled the end of the group. Thomson went away to college in Wisconsin, where he fronted Circus Lupus, and would later form both Monorchid and Skull Kontrol; Alec MacKaye, meanwhile, spent the mid-'90s performing in the Warmers. ~ Steve Huey

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1986 in Washington DC

Years Active:

'80s, '90s