Modern Life Is War – Fever Hunting


Album

Fever Hunting

Label

Deathwish Inc.

Year

2013

Genre

For Fans Of

Life Long Tragedy - Have Heart - Defeater

Summary

A stunning return to form from the masters of melodic hardcore.

Rating

90 / 100

You’d be a fool to deny the impact Iowa five-piece Modern Life Is War had in shaping the current landscape of hardcore punk. Dissolving in early 2008 after third album ‘Midnight in America‘, their brand of melodic hardcore coupled with emotive, resonant lyricism would later be seen flowing through the veins of acts like Defeater and Touché Amoré. In late 2012, the band announced their hiatus was through – and a new album, entitled ‘Fever Hunting‘, was on the way.

In a lot of ways, ‘Fever Hunting‘ picks up where the band left off. Intelligent, melodic riffs complement the energetic ferocity the band are known for, with a melancholic tone and the kind of lyrical sincerity that has become synonymous with Modern Life Is War. Frontman Jeffrey Eaton roars with the same lionhearted intensity, and the band mesh sonically as proficiently as ever. However, where criticism of ‘Midnight in America‘ arose from a lack of energy, the time away has revitalised the band’s zeal. The vigour of tracks like ‘Media Cunt’ and ‘Cracked Sidewalk Surfer‘ demonstrate a new burning fire inside the band’s collective hearts, and it’s incredibly refreshing.

What’s more, there’s a maturity here that wasn’t present in earlier work. On seminal 2005 album ‘Witness‘, Modern Life Is War were a band desperately holding onto the fragile remnants of their youth, reluctant to accept “coming closer to the end of whatever this has been”. “Sometimes the boys that should be your best friends become strangers with familiar faces”, declared an impassioned Eaton, a sentiment that echoed the fears of letting go found throughout the album.

On ‘Fever Hunting‘, we see a portrait of a band that have come to terms with the inevitability of growing up, in a way that feels considered and hopeful – rather than outright scornful. Tracks like ‘Health, Wealth and Peace’ (“Accepting myself, accepting my condition / Avoiding attachment and following my vision”) and ‘Brothers in Arms Forever‘ (“Through thick and thin we’re still brothers in arms forever”) communicate a feeling that although the concern of a decade past still linger, these are faced head-on, rather than with boyish fear. Album closer ‘Find a Way‘ is a reflective slow-burner – “I wish you could understand that there’s nothing you could do to me / that’s worse than what I’ve already done to myself.”

Conclusion

What ‘Fever Hunting’ achieves is proving defiantly that after all this time, Modern Life Is War are still the reigning champs of emotive, melodic hardcore. Hundreds of records have been released in the band’s wake by groups trying to emulate the groundwork that Modern Life Is War laid back in the day – ‘Fever Hunting’ puts them to shame with its sheer authenticity. This is the real deal.

Tracklisting

1. Old Fears, New Frontiers
2. Health, Wealth and Peace
3. Chasing My Tail
4. Media Cunt
5. Blind are Bleeding
6. Fever Hunting
7. Dark Water
8. Brothers in Arms Forever
9. Currency
10. Cracked Sidewalk Surfer
11. Find a Way

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