Saturday, June 6, 2015

Modern Life Is War at the Marlin Room at Webster Hall

Jeffrey Eaton
Modern Life Is War formed in 2002 in Marshalltown, Iowa, and was applauded for taking hardcore punk music into a more progressive direction. MLIW often slowed down the music but maintained intensity while also avoiding standard song structures and including socio-political lyrics. The band released three albums in six years but after personnel changes split in 2008. The original band reunited in 2012 for a new album and tour. MLIW consists of vocalist Jeffrey Eaton, guitarists John Paul Eich and Matt Hoffman, bassist Chris Honeck and drummer Tyler Oleson. Modern Life is War released a remastered 10th anniversary version of its 2005 album Witness on June 2, 2015, and performed the album in its entirety on a nine-date North American tour.

Fans gathered at the Marlin Room at Webster Hall to hear Modern Life Is War perform Witness in its entirety, and that is pretty much all they got. MLIW performed the nine tracks plus four additional tracks and called it a night. With screamo vocals and screaming instruments, MLIW captured the youthful rage, despair and ennui of small town life, in the end simply encouraging the fans to simply be themselves and rise. The fans responded to the soundtrack to this message with heavy moshing and stage diving. After the album's nine tracks, the band performed two songs from the debut album and two songs from the later two albums, with a mention that the band is working on new music. Modern Life Is War gave new life to its watershed album, but with a set that lasted less than an hour and no encore, perhaps left its fans hungry for more.

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