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Cult favorite melodic hardcore unit Lifetime was formed in New Jersey in 1990 by singer Ari Katz and guitarist Dan Yemin. Boasting a positive lyrical approach in stark contrast to the cynical mentality predominant throughout the hardcore community of the period, the group earned immediate fame with the 1991 release of its self-titled debut EP, issuing the acclaimed full-length Background the following year. After countless lineup changes, the Lifetime roster stabilized prior to the release of their 1995 Jade Tree label debut, Hello Bastards, with Katz and Yemin recruiting guitarist Pete Martin, bassist Dave Palaitis, and drummer Scott Golley. The album really cemented the band's status as underground heroes, only to be further solidified with their next effort. After a brief tour in support of 1997's well-received Jersey's Best Dancers, the influential group dissolved; while Katz, Palaitis and Golley were soon reunited in Zero Zero, Yemin teamed with drummer David Wagenschutz (a Lifetime alum from the group's earliest incarnations) to form Kid Dynamite, and later, Paint It Black.

Lifetime reunited in August 2005 to play New Jersey's Hellfest, but when the festival was unexpectedly canceled, the group instead played a few shows around the East Coast, all proceeds going to charity. Several more packed shows followed, including a slot at 2006's South by Southwest festival, before the band decided to seriously re-form and sign with Decaydance (headed by Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz, who was a huge fan of the band) in March 2006. That same month, Jade Tree released the double-disc collector's set Somewhere in the Swamps of Jersey, which highlighted the band's earlier (and much of it out of print) work alongside 52 pages of lyrics, rare photos, and liner notes. As work began on a new record, Lifetime embarked on a brief summer tour with the Bronx and the Loved Ones in tow. The EP 2 Songs appeared that fall and wetted palates for the eventual release of their highly anticipated self-titled record, which picked up exactly where the guys left off upon its release in early February 2007. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi