Words About Music
Modern Life Is War “Fever Hunting”
Hardcore punk is one of the most fascinating and beloved genres in all of the musical spectrum, yet many bands seem hellbent on screwing it up with boring albums and really just sticking around too long *coughcoughBADRELIGIONcoughcough*
However, some bands break up at the height of their musical career, thus not overstaying their welcome and making it that much more exciting if and when they decide to reunite. Bands like Refused and Black Flag have reunited for tours, and Bad Brains has reunited to tour and even make new music, but very few reunited punk bands can still relight the spark that made their music great. That is, with the exception of Modern Life Is War.
Modern Life Is War formed in 2002 in Marshalltown, Iowa, and they completely redefined the hardcore punk sound by including melody and completely getting rid of breakdowns and turning their backs on typical song structures. The three albums that they released in their initial 2002-2008 run are all hailed as hardcore classics, with the first two albums (as well as this new one) being put out on Jacob Bannon’s Deathwish Inc. Records label.
Now I wouldn’t say that what Modern Life Is War is doing is more ambitious, loud, or complex as what Converge have been doing for the past ten years, but MLIW are not trying to be Converge, or Dillinger Escape Plan or Cave In or Pg. 99 for that matter. Modern Life Is War is trying to be Modern Life Is War, and it’s doing an excellent job of doing so.
There’s no post-rock builds, no emotionally draining lyrics— save a few songs— no breakdowns, no guitar solos, it’s just a great punk album that combines tons of different styles. Modern Life Is War could tour with Converge just as easily as they could tour with Rise Against or Anti-Flag. It’s accessible and still verbose, angry, and original. One can definitely see its influence on modern day hardcore, for better or for worse.
If you haven’t heard Modern Life Is War before this album, fear not, for “Fever Hunting” is just as good an album to start with as any. The great thing about this album is that, like Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s “Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!,” it does not feel like a reunion album or comeback album. It just feels like another Modern Life Is War album that could just as easily have been released two years after 2007’s “Midnight In America” instead of six years.
It’s vulgar, it’s well written, it’s well played, and it’s a solid and incredibly fun punk album that should appeal to punk fans all over, whether you hang out at Hot Topic counting down the days until the Warped Tour announces its lineup or you spend your days in the basement trying to explain why “Double Nickels On The Dime” is the greatest punk album ever released.
SCORE – 8.7
FAVORITE TRACKS – Health, Wealth, & Peace, Chasing My Tail, Blind Are Breeding, Fever Hunting, Brothers In Arms Forever, Cracked Sidewalk Surfer, Find A Way