Formed in November 1998 by three Rutgers students, Midtown soon became an energetic quartet comprised of Gabe Saporta (vocals/bass), Rob Hitt (drums), Tyler Rann (guitar/vocals), and Heath Saraceno (guitar/vocals). Taking advantage of the fertile New Jersey punk scene to develop a unique sound that combined elements of emo and hardcore, Midtown began recording shortly after their formation. Their debut EP, Sacrifice of Life, was issued by Pinball Records in 1999. Their first full-length, Save the World, Lose the Girl, was released in early 2000 by their friends at Drive-Thru Records and was soon picked up for distribution by MCA. Midtown spent five months starting in the fall of 2001 recording their follow-up album; Living Well Is the Best Revenge appeared in April 2002.