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Modern Life Is War Witness

Modern Life Is War - Witness
1. The Outsiders (AKA Hell Is For Heroes Part 1)
2. Martin Atchet
3. John and Jimmy
4. Marshalltown
5. D.E.A.D.R.A.M.O.N.E.S. MP3
6. Young Man on a Spree
7. I'm Not Ready
8. Young Man Blues
9. Hair Raising Accounts of Restless Ghosts (AKA Hell Is For Heroes Part 2)
2005 Deathwish Inc.


Reviewed by: Cory   //   Published: 6/13/2005

The buzz surrounding Modern Life Is War's first full-length, My Love, My Way, was pretty huge, and when I finally heard it, I was, quite frankly, a bit disappointed. They were a young band that bore a strong resemblance to most of the other hardcore happening at the time (Suicide File, Give Up The Ghost, etc.) and to me there was just something lacking in that particular record. Two years later, the face of hardcore has changed drastically and MLIW has returned with a vengeance on their first release for Deathwish Inc.

After being pleasantly surprised by the sample track, "D.E.A.D.R.A.M.O.N.E.S.," I decided to give the rest of the disc a listen. Witness is the fulfillment of whatever potential Modern Life Is War may have shown on their debut. While the aforementioned track is definitely one of the album's finest, it's hard to name a true standout in a record full of gems. "Martin Atchet," another of my favorite tracks, draws its inspiration from the 90's cult graphic novel SKIN, the tale of a deformed "thalidomide skinhead" and his vengeance on the pharmaceutical company that crippled him from birth.

The tastefully minimal instrumentation of the percussion-driven "Young Man on a Spree" creates a restrained rage and tension as powerful as the disc's loudest moments. In fact, restraint is one of the key elements of this disc. Witness seems as furious as any hardcore release in recent memory, yet much of the disc consists of mid-tempo songs with melodic guitar leads and there are no true breakdowns to speak of, a true rarity in hardcore these days. The most "brutal" thing about the entire disc is the honesty behind the disc's biting lyrics.

Replacing the more than capable Dean Baltulonis behind the soundboard this time around is the omnipresent Kurt Ballou, who once again helps a band's talent and energy shine through perfectly. As usual the tones are all immaculate and there are no extraneous studio tricks to keep the music from speaking for itself. Witness sounds raw and heartfelt without sounding like garbage.

Bottom Line: In 2005, Modern Life Is War have gone from musically calling to mind the style of previous hardcore greats to calling to mind their passion, talent and intensity. This record is a modern hardcore masterpiece from the first note to the last. I love it.

TOMMY_   posted 5/10/2007 1:45:52 AM
Perfect f*cking album in the history of modern contemporary hardcore
fdsfsdfsd_   posted 10/1/2006 1:45:21 PM
'Heem_   posted 5/9/2006 9:23:09 PM
fantastic album. review is deadon with its notice of rage and tension estrained. I think that's what makes it such a memorable album for me.
anonymous   posted 11/3/2005 12:13:46 AM
calling this "emo" makes you sound like an ass emo stands for emotive hardcore it was an off shoot of the punk/hardcore movement of the 80's i.e. bands like Rites of Spring and Embrace and you know what thats what makes hardcore great raw emotion, passion, anger and honesty and this album has all of that
Yow_   posted 8/10/2005 4:51:35 PM
horribke emo hardcore bullshit..they need to pick up the f*ckign tempo..and get rid of the gay ass lyrics

posted by wolfpack () on 7/14/2005 11:54:41 PM

Lyrics = some of the best Ive read/ heard in a long time

The Tempo = I love it, I find it makes the music more powerful and awesome

Emo? I dont see it... are you sad that you broke up with your gay lover? or are you talking about mliw being emo? I dont hear it in their music so Im just going to assume that you're gaping buttvjayjay

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