Reviewing Modern Life Is War’s Midnight In America marks the second occasion I’ve had to perform a post-mortem on an album from an act that has since disbanded, the first being Hot Cross’ Risk Revivial. Oddly enough, both are Equal Vision releases and are generally regarded by die-hard followers as being lower-caliber albums from their respective proprietors, yet I find myself disagreeing with the general consensus.

Midnight In America is another dose of straight-up hardcore from a band that few would attest to being one of the genre’s flagship acts. Beefier production allows the album to better represent the band’s live show, which like most hardcore acts is ultimately how you earn both your reputation and, subsequently, your following. Track offerings on Midnight In America are much the same in terms of construction as past releases, and fans of MLIW would expect no less. Musical competence is nearly irrelevant in this scene; passion and energy are the be-all-end-all in hardcore. That said, MLIW has plenty of both. Lyrically, the band flies a flag of rebellion and non-conformity with no-bullshit commentary on anything and everything from music to politics. Regardless of what frontman Jeff Eaton is spewing, the fact is he’s spewing it with a clear conviction, and kids in camo shorts will eat that up.

The band’s antics or commentary may not be for you—they aren’t for me—but when it comes down to channeling anger through some sweat-covered amps and a spit-drenched mic, MLIW are better at their craft than most. It may lack the fresh-to-the-scene spark offered by My Love. My Way, or the punch of a track like “D.E.A.D.R.A.M.O.N.E.S.” from Witness, but as the cap to a trilogy of releases from a well-respected group, Midnight In America is not only competent, but perhaps culminating, and the band should sleep easy knowing this is what they’ve left freshly behind.  [ END ]

Track Listing:

01. Useless Generation
02. Screaming At The Moon
03. Stagger Lee
04. Big City Dream
05. Fuck The Sex Pistols
06. Pendulum
07. These Mad Dogs Of Glory
08. Night Shift At The Potato Factory
09. The Motorcycle Boy Reigns
10. Humble Streets
11. Midnight In America

Run Time: 30:14