As you might guess from the title World on Fire, 28 North vocalist Michael Lindner isn’t singing about candy canes and rainbows here.

The band plays modern bluecollar rock that deals lyrically with the concerns of every man. On “Monster,” the band worries about a friend's, and the offered advice of “Shake it off!” turns into a desperate chant by tune’s end.

However, this dark subject matter doesn’t mean World on Fire is depressed and devoid of fun. The title cut is a big, anthemic rocker where the attitude is if we’re going to hell in a hand basket, let’s go together and enjoy the ride. And the sing-along “Los Angeles,” about losing a lover because of a move to California, is so hook-filled and upbeat that it’s hard for the listener to sympathize with those suffering from a shattered relationship. 

This is the overall feeling; all of the stories and emotions are wrapped in bright melody, gussied-up with sweet slide guitar parts here and there, then just turned loose to rock out into the stratosphere.

World on Fire has already yielded a radio hit in “Call Me Up,” the album’s tenderest moment. Several other cuts, including the Who-like romp “Pride,” lie in wait. Expect this song to gain momentum throughout the spring and hit its stride just in time for windows down, rockin’ down the highway summer fun.

Grade: B