Che Guevara once said that “the true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love.” While applying a guerilla’s military dogma to something as mundane as music may seem a bit ridiculous, one glance at “revolutionary” hardcore will reveal a scene that is at war with itself. As terrible shit-machine labels like Victory and Ferret grow bigger, they sign more and more “hardcore” bands that are fueled not by love and anger, but by fabricated hatred and by-the-book angst.
One band in particular stands out from this sea of phonies: Modern Life Is War. Looking towards honesty and friendship for inspiration, instead of threadbare violence, MLIW has become the first true heir to the dynasty started by Black Flag and Minor Threat nearly 30 years ago. Hundreds of bands have attempted to ascend the throne through mimicry, but these were mere impostors. MLIW has earned its position by appealing to fans of old-school hardcore, while at the same time becoming the face of modern hardcore.
Lyrically, MLIW is beautifully brutal and honest. On the outstanding track “D.E.A.D.R.A.M.O.N.E.S.,” the band sings the praises of hardcore and punk as not just distractions in life, but ways of life in themselves.
This past February, MLIW announced that they were calling it quits. In their farewell, singer Jeffrey Eaton stated, “I hope we have made some people feel less alone and motivated them to think for themselves, be themselves and take action. Punk rock changed our lives. I hope we contributed something to keep the whole thing going.”
This is the city’s last chance to see the band that has not only been so important to modern music, but has also shown so much love to Central Indiana, when many other bands simply look us over.