Review Summary: Amazing, intense, and uplifiting melodic hardcore from Marshalltown, Iowa.
Passion is something that a lot of the more popular modern -core bands lack. Lyrics of a lot of the bands either involve how they're myspace girlfriends ruined their lives or are vaugue political statements that sound good but mean nothing. These bands usually lack musical substance as well; their primary songwriting tactic is to write a pop song and add lots of distortion and girly unpassionate screaming. In this vast expanse of myspace popcore bands their is a glimmer of hope: Modern Life Is War
Modern Life Is War is a Marshalltown, Iowa band hell bent on bringing passion back into the melodic hardcore scene. Their songs are usually midtempo and leave room for the singer, Jefferey Eaton, to do his thing. The drums and bass are competent, but the true standouts instrumentally on this record are the two guitar players, John Eich and Sjarm. They do everything from bashing out punk style power chords, weaving octaves,droning low string parts, and creating huge crescendos with a wall of sound. Their ability to play is almost virtuostic for a hardcore band and is simply stunning.
Although I've said a lot about the guitars, the vocals and lyrics of Jeff are what defines this record. His vocal talent and delivery is so passionate it left me floored. You can feel the agony through every word on this cd. His lyrics are often jaded and pissed off, but there also seems to be a glistening of hope buried in the songs as well. This leads to the record being uplifting and rejuvenating to listen to.
The song, for me at least, that represents the whole record is "By The Sea." It contains all the elements of MLIW that I love. It starts with a droning intro, then goes straight into a great faster tempo part that uses harmonized octaves as well as power chords. This continues for a little longer then the song quiets down for a building part that leads into an orgasmic crescendo with gang vocals screaming away and Jeff yelling " I found conviction in my ever changing mind. I grew up tied down and bleeding on the inside, but I know I was a victim of my own device, and I want to live to see a brand new life." The lyrics are so catharctic and self confrontational in this song, it's just mind blowing.
This record is the definition of punk rock. It's short and sweet so you'll want to listen to it again and again.The music is so heartfelt, emotive, and passionate, that I feel almost anyone into hardcore or punk music should hear this. So, if you're sick of all the disgusting scenexcore bands and want to hear what a melodic hardcore record is all about, check out Modern Life Is War.
By The Sea
First And Ellen