One perk of being home all the time is that I get to spend more time with my
records. It's nice to be able to work, dig through the collection a bit, and
put something on as a work soundtrack. My records are still somewhat all over
the place, so I've been organizing and reorganizing them recently. My partner
was observing me, and being of a non-collector mind, she's more than a little
perplexed as to why I would have more than one copy of something.
She asked me a good question though—what record do I have the most
copies of? The answer appears to be Modern Life Is War's Witness LP at 11.
The LPs/12-inches are more easily visible, but I don't think I have a 7-inch
collection remotely close to that. (TBF, I do need to sort through those.)
Musically, this is an all-timer for me. At the time, MLIW was doing something
different in hardcore. The songs were almost all mid-tempo, no real mosh parts,
and the lyrics were anthemic. There's just a certain energy that was captured
here. I think the opening track, "The Outsiders," really showcases what I think
this band is. Going from a nice simmer to boiling over.
Jeff Eaton's lyrics have a bit a folk flair to them. The song "I'm Not
Ready" I think is the one I identify with most. It kind of encapsulates being
in my mid-20s, years removed from high school, and hoping for things to stay
When you're 16, you don't know what forever means
When you are 23, you couldn't be more sorry to say
That after all this growing up together all the good has gone away
Sometimes the boys that should be your best friends
Become strangers with familiar faces
Yes, this is proper "amazingcore." It's probably not wrong to say this band,
if not this record, started an era of driving mid-tempo, "emotional" hardcore.
Anyway, this really wasn't supposed to be about music. This was supposed to be
for the record nerdery. So, eleven different versions I have. Nowhere near close
to everything for this record, but not too shabby, especially for me.
I believe this record is a Deathwish, Inc. release, but the vinyl was originally
released by Lifeline Records. The first press (and possibly a couple after) came
with a nice, simple gatefold jacket with the lyrics printed on the inside. We have
a "blood red," light blue marble, dark blue marble, and green marble colored vinyl.
Somewhere down the line, they switched to a standard jacket with the lyric sheet
insert. Clear purple and clear vinyl in my collection.
There was also a European press released by Reflections Records. I'm wondering
how I would have ordered this. It's quite possible I just sent a money order
to The Netherlands. Simpler (and much more trusting) times. Standard jacket with
the dust sleeve/lyric sheet combo, which I never enjoy. They're usually so
fragile at the edges. Clear with black splatter and grey with black splatter.
Reflections was all about the splatter colorways.
A few years ago, Deathwish did a remaster and repress celebrating the 10-year
anniversary for this record. I don't know that I've actually listened to this
version, but I'm sure it sounds great. They went back to the gatefold layout,
and they made a cool booklet with a foreword with some nice words from people.
I never owned the CD version, but I wonder if this is just a large version
of the CD insert. Anyway, silver with blue haze, silver, and 180 gram black
And if I had to pick, I'd say this sounds best on red vinyl.