Modern Life Is War: Fever Hunting
Midwestern hardcore outfit Modern Life Is War always has had a number of strengths: over-the-top charisma, tons of energy, and a knack for translating life lessons into stirring music. But songwriting has never been one of those qualities. Some of the band’s best songs ache with a feeling of being nearly perfect, like the music and lyrics were expertly concocted separately in a vacuum.
For whatever reason, the half-decade break that the band took between Midnight in America and its new record seems to have cured it of this ill. Fever Hunting is a cohesive album of expertly fleshed-out songs. Poetic yet to-the-point lyrics complement the music instead of fighting for attention. “Health, Wealth, and Peace” and “Currency” tread a tried-and-true hardcore path but reveal a depth that MLIW sometimes has neglected; “Dark Water” takes the band down a new road completely, pouring a cinematic patina over a dark but sneering song à la Murder City Devils. Fine-tuned and hungry, MLIW is back and at the top of its game.