Review Summary: I suspected you've been affected
Comeback albums can be a real bitch, especially in a genre that changes quickly and often like hardcore. Changing hardcore forever, Modern Life Is War released the landmark record Witness
in 2005, made one more album and characteristically of hardcore, they dissolved shortly after that. A lot has happened in the scene since they broke up, and countless bands have grown popular playing a derivative version of the sound they perfected on Witness
. With all that being said, the question must be posed: Do Modern Life Is War go back to the sound that defined a generation and risk sounding outdated, or do they try something new and risk alienating fans? So what the fuck are you going to do kid?
Modern Life Is War went with the "Going back to their defining sound" approach, and basically ignored their last album which failed to strike a nerve with fans largely because of its heavier approach. Fever Hunting
has all the same ingredients as Witness:
slower than average songs, unorthodox song structures consisting of parts that flow into each other seamlessly (unlike this sentence,) melodic and methodical guitar work, and emotional vocals. Fever Hunting
does differ in a few aspects that are unfortunately largely negative. It's by no means an immediate record and it doesn't really get its feet off the ground until the third track "Chasing My Tail." The record is a tad longer than Witness,
yet if feels strangely hollow, where Witness
felt like a 27 minutes long mission statement that never ceased or slowed down, Fever Hunting
isn't as inspired nor is it immediate, starting off slow and relying too much on repetition. The lyrics are the biggest negative as nothing really sticks like they did with Witness,
where every song felt like a story worth telling. Rounding out the negatives is the flat production and songwriting which largely erase the impeccable flow and atmosphere Witness
had. While Witness
defined a genre with it's fresh approach to hardcore and unforgettable songs, Fever Hunting
is a great, albeit forgettable record that's doomed to be left behind in hardcore history; lumped in with all the derivative and faceless records made by bands who aped Modern Life Is War's sound.