Mother Night - Lifestyle/Deathstyle (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Mother Night

Lifestyle/Deathstyle (2007)

Off the Books

Mother Night's awful bad-acid-trip name and similarly thought-provoking cover art had my cringe senses ready to react, so it was quite the pleasant surprise when I was instead delivered a half-hour of intense, uncompromising hardcore from New Brunswick, NJ.

Lifestyle/Deathstyle offers a slight metallic finish to the band's heavy stylings that take bits and pieces from 108 and Long Island's well-regarded Milhouse, but with an occasional underpinning of more reflective, emotional resonance that those two bands rarely, if ever, revealed. "Concrete" pounds and (moderately) squeals away unrelentingly for its 2:24 gallop, serving as a wonderful introduction to what's at hand here, with clever guitar squalls in the bridge and a creative breakdown to boot. Its immediate followup "The Heartbeat of America" is definitely another standout, incorporating some latter-era Turning Point guitars. Once in a while there'll be hints of the raw, forward-thinking vibes of early Modern Life Is War, too ("Dragging You Down with Me" until about 1:40 in, "Requiem").

Unfortunately, Lifestyle/Deathstyle does seem to stumble towards the finish line quite a bit and that takes away from what could be a great, fulfilling album. Still, when the band is on with a potent blend of their influences, they're on; they know how to work the dynamic, staying intense while acting more deliberate. Once we get more than a small handful of wonderfully compelling examples out of them it'll certainly be no bad trip.

The Heartbeat of America
White Noise
Dragging You Down with Me