Modern Life is War - Midnight in America Review
by Billy D. Gamble
Iowa based Modern Life is War return with Midnight in America, another album that is once again breakdown free. The album has its high hardcore moments where the songs would be driven by fast-paced melodic hardcore, but Midnight in America has transitions where the album could almost be called emo. I'd almost call it the creation of a new genre.
The album kicks off with "Useless Generation," a song that combines vocalist Jeffery Eaton's Rise Against meets the Warriors voice with a Give up the Ghost drive led by the guitar and drum section. The song maintains the drive but transitions in and out of a stale sound. This is a theme in Midnight in America. Unfortunately, the majority of the songs build up to no notable conclusion or catharsis.
Any hardcore album wouldn't be complete without songs that make kids charge the stage and get close enough to sing-a-long with uplifting lyrics. "Stagger Lee" is an epic sing-a-long and a cover of a blues folk song about a cab driver, pimp, and murderer that has been rerecorded multiple times by several artists. Modern Life is War also manage to include a old school Orange County 80s hardcore sounding tune called "Night at the Potato Factory" that could be compared to old Black Flag.
"These Mad Dogs of Glory" is another sing-a-long fist throwing anthem. The song keeps a slow, consistent tempo combined with a progressive sound. The song doesn't go anywhere and is made up of repetitive stale chords.
Overall, the album repeats itself and fails to really deliver an impact. It sounds like an old Rise Against album but with more emo and angst. "Screaming at the Moon," for example goes into a punk build-up that doesn't climax or go anywhere but bluntly ends. I'd say there's lots of angst but no real emotion on Midnight in America.
Modern Life is War's Midnight in America
1. Useless Generation
2. Screaming at the Moon
3. Stagger Lee
4. Big City Dream
5. f*** the Sex Pistols
7. These Mad Dogs of Glory
8. Night Shift at the Potato Factory
9. The Motorcycle Boy Reigns
10. Humble Streets
11. Midnight in America
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Modern Life is War - Midnight in America
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