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Modern Life Is War

Modern Life Is War: live in New Yorklive in New York (2007)
Equal Vision Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5


Contributed by: InaGreendaseBrian
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Modern Life Is War, placed smack dab in the middle of a lineup involving He Is Legend, Maylene and the Sons of Disaster and Paulson on a full U.S. tour. You're asking the wrong guy. In any event, our entourage strategically arrived as Paulson was completing their set. Despite some critical acclai.


Modern Life Is War, placed smack dab in the middle of a lineup involving He Is Legend, Maylene and the Sons of Disaster and Paulson on a full U.S. tour. You're asking the wrong guy.

In any event, our entourage strategically arrived as Paulson was completing their set. Despite some critical acclaim from varied webzines for 2005's All at Once (slightly reworked and reissued on Doghouse in March), my interest in the band remained in the red after listening to tracks long ago. Thus, we didn't step foot into the Knitting Factory's main space room until a comedian was amusing the crowd with some odd banter in between sets -- and its bizarre content chased us out just as quickly.

The familiar sound of instrumental tuning brought us back, and we arrived just as Modern Life Is War began to strum the haunting, methodically slow chords of one of Witness' most brooding tracks, "Marshalltown." The band's faithful gathering of adorers began to let loose regardless of the band's decision to start off with a track that's conservatively aggressive, even for them. Hands outstretched from the floor to Jeff Eaton and his hovering, menacing stance that's becoming more Rollins-esque with every show.

The band refused to let up for another 10 minutes or so, blasting through nearly the rest of Side A on Witness and finding a surprisingly healthy portion of the crowd moving and singing along with it. Technical problems with one of the guitars created a long intermission, but Eaton filled the time by letting kids come up to announce local shows. He also took a jab at his tourmates, letting the crowd know that if they were "looking for a religious experience," that Maylene and their Sons of Disaster would be next. Letting them know about available merchandise, Eaton cautioned their potential customers: "If you buy a shirt from us, you're going to hell."

Finally, the band delved into one of their newest live stapes, "Stagger Lee." It's enormously epic and captures the band at their poundingly restrained finest. Eaton called for a circle pit for its follower, "Fuck the Sex Pistols," which could be the fastest song they've written to date; its lyrics are a little repetitive and oversimplified, but it musically rips and the message seems to be a visceral, literal "fuck you" to those who believe music peaked in a certain era ("fuck the glory days").

"D.E.A.D.R.A.M.O.N.E.S." was sandwiched by two elder anthems, "First & Ellen" and "By the Sea," pleasing and appeasing long-time fans, but certainly not only respectively.

As usual, Modern Life Is War provided an excellent, inspired set that found them doing just about all one could ask in a half-hour-long support slot.

Set list (7:26-7:59):

  1. Marshalltown
  2. John and Jimmy
  3. The Outsiders
  4. Martin Atchet
  5. -----
  6. Stagger Lee
  7. Fuck the Sex Pistols
  8. First & Ellen
  9. D.E.A.D.R.A.M.O.N.E.S.
  10. By the Sea

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (August 8, 2007)

First of all I take offense to your critique of my performance as odd and bizare.... second being that I work in extremely close contact with MLIW i can tell you the unequivicle reason why they were on the legend tour... they were asked by he is legend who are big fans of theirs... it had nothing to do with coatail riding of any sort... as a matter of fact myself as well as members of MLIW didnt know who he is legend was prior to tour... dont get me wrong EVERY SINGLE BAND ON THAT TOUR ARE WONDERFUL PEOPLE AND THERE IS A MUTUAL RESPECT BETWEEN US ALL... If anyone was riding coatails it was me so put that in your pipes.... on the contrary I've been opening up for bands all throughout the music scene for nearly five years so this although possibly career defining and incredible was not my first time around the bend as this idiot critic may have indirectly elluted too... part of being a true punk is listening to every artist and giving them a fair shake rather than running away for fear of bizzare nature... it is unfortunate that punknews.org couldn't give me or my craft rthat fair level of legitimacy.... before I get back to MLIW i would like to point out that the review recomends listeners of MLIW to the blood brothers and circle takes the square... one band is worth the time of day, and one band certainly is not.... but neither one have any comparisons at all to MLIW as I write this there is an ad for eisley's new album staring back at me and this can only lead me to one conclusion this site and the people that run it only give a damn about the punk rock commodity rather than community.... every single person that hit that stage that night has given multiple years of service to punk rock, hardcore whatever you wanna call it... and to straight up disrespect half the artists on that bill including myslef is not what punk is about and it surely isn't what MLIW is about... I'm sorry if I come off as angry but one must understand that punk rock is about community... MLIW is my family I love those dudes like brothers and I'd jump in front of a bus for any one of them... thats what punk is about... the bonds that you create the famlies that are established from show after show of giving 110 percent to every single person in the room... all the industry bullshit, about who's bigger and all that doesn't fucking matter... what matters is the show was great... it changed my life for the better and im sure it did the same for many others... leave the reviews to spin magazine and do what you can to bring "punk" back to its roots why don't you... newsflash... that's not such an easy task...,but it's what punk needs.... i'll see you on the road again for sure like it or not because my family MLIW doesn't give a fuck about where they stand on a bill or how many records they sell they only care about giving all they can to patrons every night... and I can assure that I nor MLIW will never lose that priority in our minds.

elliot (August 1, 2007)

Jeff said that on this tour, he's noticed times where he swears on stage, and he can see kids in the crowd visibly uncomfortable or annoyed that he's swearing.

But they're doing the tour because they felt like they had been playing to the exact same crowd for two years, and they wanted to mix it up a bit. So they've definitely accomplished that.

usversusthem (August 1, 2007)

Just d/led Stagger Lee and The Motorcycle Boy Reigns from the EVR site... kinda pretty pumped for the new record. I can only hope they come by Canada some time...

onegirlarmy (July 31, 2007)

As for why MLIW decided to be on this tour, only the band knows why, but I'm sure whatever reasons they have were good ones. Most likely I'm guessing it was to expose themselves to a crowd that wouldn't have seen them normally. One thing I noticed at this show was the crowd was EXTREMELY diverse - you had hardcore kids for MLIW, the metalcore kids for Maylene and He Is Legend, and indie kids for Paulson, which is exactly what happens with a diverse bill/tour. I'm sure every touring band gets sick of playing in front of the exact same crowds all the time.

onegirlarmy (July 31, 2007)

"riding the coattails?"

i certainly think it is lame that they decided to be a part of the tour, however i doubt it was for said reasons. besides if anyone is riding anyone's coatails it is the other way around(ie a bad attempt to gain credibility by bringing on one of the best and most respected hardcore bands of the last 4/5 years)

being on equal vision has given them an opportunity to tour and play to kids that would've never gone to see them back in 02/03 when they opened for bands like holding on and rambo.

the point is that they are damn good and they are doing what any band would when they get to a bigger level.(ie do a shitty tour once and a while because maybe some kids never exposed to quality music will get turned on to hardcore)

jeff was more than likely poking fun in jest, not in anger and not in a way to alienate others in the crowd or on the tour. he is allowed to be sarcastic, right?

dont talk about a band you obviously know nothing about.

thank you,
getty


^Agreed 1000%. I was at that show, and considering Jeff actually followed up the religious comment with "some beautiful, long-haired boys called Maylene and the Sons Of Disaster are up next", I took it as sarcasm as well. I was thinking the very same thing (about them taking a jab at Maylene, why would you tour with them, etc) until Jeff followed it up with that. I'm guessing they probably got friendly with the Maylene dudes on this tour and maybe are poking fun/sarcastically joking that they have different beliefs? Who knows. Either way, I don't think it was malicious, I think it was sarcastic/a joke as well.

Anonymous (July 31, 2007)

sorry my punctuation and grammar was horrible, i'm assuming my point was still taken
-getty

Anonymous (July 31, 2007)

"riding the coattails?"

i certainly think it is lame that they decided to be a part of the tour, however i doubt it was for said reasons. besides if anyone is riding anyone's coatails it is the other way around(ie a bad attempt to gain credibility by bringing on one of the best and most respected hardcore bands of the last 4/5 years)

being on equal vision has given them an opportunity to tour and play to kids that would've never gone to see them back in 02/03 when they opened for bands like holding on and rambo.

the point is that they are damn good and they are doing what any band would when they get to a bigger level.(ie do a shitty tour once and a while because maybe some kids never exposed to quality music will get turned on to hardcore)

jeff was more than likely poking fun in jest, not in anger and not in a way to alienate others in the crowd or on the tour. he is allowed to be sarcastic, right?

dont talk about a band you obviously know nothing about.

thank you,
getty

Anonymous (July 31, 2007)

if MLiW doesn't want to be associated with them, they should have refused the tour. ironic that they are riding the coat tails of Maylene and probably having larger draws at each show then they have ever had before, yet they are slapping them in the face.

don't want to tour with a christian band, don't do it.

but don't do it, and then whine like you're a victim, or you didn't know.

thats just pathetic

nate_derby (July 31, 2007)

"So who is the guy that sits down and says, "Ok so He Is Legend needs some tour mates...how about Paulson? OH! and Modern Life Is War would go perfect with both!" Seriously, I want to know whos behind these ridiculous line ups. I think the Cursive/Mastodon/Against Me! tour was even stranger though..."

I thought the same thing.

DiscoFucker (July 31, 2007)

That show was amazing. He Is Legend sucked, though.

Anonymous (July 31, 2007)

That tour was amazing.

onegirlarmy (July 31, 2007)

One of the best half-hour sets I've seen in a long time.

tenwestchaser (July 31, 2007)

So who is the guy that sits down and says, "Ok so He Is Legend needs some tour mates...how about Paulson? OH! and Modern Life Is War would go perfect with both!" Seriously, I want to know whos behind these ridiculous line ups. I think the Cursive/Mastodon/Against Me! tour was even stranger though...

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