“TRUE ‘TILL DEATH!”
If you subscribe in any way to the adage that life is about living in the moment, then no matter where the people may be at in their lives or what they do with themselves, perhaps millions of people have sung along to this line through countless plays of this record and the myriad of covers that other bands have done of this song in the ensuing years upon the release of the 7” EP that this song graces and truly meant the sentiment with their whole being maybe even going so far as to get these same words tattooed on their bodies; think about that long and hard because that is a special feat inciting people in their passions and convictions (however long or short they may actually feel them) in a moment of furious release, and then you might just understand exactly why Chain Of Strength holds such a special place in the straight edge hardcore scene.
When The One Thing That Still Holds True was released by Revelation, I do not remember a huge furor being raised at the time over the compilation (I would have figured that fans would have been absolutely chuffed to get the unreleased “Impact”, which is a pretty awesome song with an ominously cool wailing siren opening, as part of the deal); but people seem pretty bent on the awful re-mixing job and spotty master (not a first for these Revelation discographies either) with people’s largest complaint being the songs having their balls chopped off (as well as some guitar parts extricated from the mix as well), and after finally hearing the two EPs that provide the rest of the songs for this record, I see what they mean (though those EPs have some questionable mixes themselves while still being superior to this release).
Let us assume that ignorance truly is bliss and focus on the roiling and manic batch of songs that is contained by The One Thing That Still Holds True because they are some of the craziest youth crew era hardcore tracks that came from that time and many of these anthems are considered to be classics of the genre like ”Just How Much”, “True Till Death” (arguably the straightedge anthem this side of Minor Threat), and “Too Deep Until Now” while songs like “Never Understand” seem to presage the mixing of rock ‘n’ roll with hardcore a la The Suicide File; and without a doubt, these five guys could write some ripping hardcore punk tunes that would surely incite monstrous human body flailing whenever they played (or at least I imagine that were the case seeing as I never saw them).
The One Thing That Still Holds True is a non stop barrage of youth crew era hardcore at its peak that is considered classic for a reason as Chain Of Strength rips out eleven songs that would not tarnish the musical legacy of that style if you used the record as an album emblematic of the era, and really the record is just impassioned and fun to listen to.
7.5 / 10
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