Modern Life Is War – Midnight In America


Midnight In America


Equal Vision Records




For Fans Of

Dead Hearts – Hot Water Music – Sinking Ships


Not bitter, just better…


93 / 100

There reached a point a couple
of years ago where my interest in hardcore was starting to wane. Bands
were peddling uninspired riffs and singers were running out of things
to say. I mean c’mon, how many songs do we really need about our friends
and family!? And then I heard Modern Life Is War and my faith was restored. 

Taking standard song structures
and completely disregarding them, MILW found a way to craft heavy, intense
and inspiring songs… while completely ignoring the breakdown and “Midnight
In America” is another impressive chapter in the MLIW story. 

While not as instantly catchy
as “Witness” (the band’s last record), “Midnight In America”
is every bit as hard hitting as I had hoped it would be. From the opening
drum roll right through to the final chords you, the listener, can hear
first hand what 5 average American kids think of the world around them…
and it’s not a pretty picture. 

The opening cries of cut through
the haze, the loneliness won’t last
sound so desperate on record
that I can only imagine what a MLIW live show would be like (that’s
a hint tour promoters). The constant drum roll only adds to the tension
and where a lesser band would move towards breakdown territory the songs
drops down to an almost twangin sounding guitar part and staggered beat.
“Screaming At The Moon” is MLIW at their finest. The song is catchy
without resorting to standard half time beats and the riffs just suck
you in.  

I’m putting it out there…
“Stagger Lee” is the best song Modern Life Is War have ever (and
quite possibly will ever) write. Even though the drum beat never
really moves past a crawl and the guitars don’t play muted open D
chords (shock horror) it is without doubt the most powerful song in
MLIW’s repertoire. It’s been said that a picture’s worth a thousand
words but whoever penned that quote obviously hasn’t read anything
that Jeffrey Eaton has written. If the world is a just place then the
MLIW wordsmith will go down as one of the most poignant writers of our
time. I’m not going to attempt to describe the images that fill my
head when listening to “Stagger Lee”, just listen to the song for
yourself and you’ll see what I mean.


I could give a play by play of
every track on this record but I don’t think it’s necessary. Quite
simply, “Midnight In America” is a must have release… not just
for the hardcore kids, but for anyone who appreciates music delivered
with passion and sincerity.  

I’m going to leave you with
a lyric from the album’s title track… 

“Everyone is fucked, everyone
is dead, but no one will open their eyes”.


  1. Useless Generation
  2. Screaming at the Moon
  3. Stagger Lee
  4. Big City Dream
  5. Fuck The Sex Pistols
  6. Pendulum
  7. These Mad Dogs of Glory
  8. Night Shift At The

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