Chain of Strength "The One Thing That Still Holds True" CDPosted on Wednesday, March 29th, 2006 @ 12:22pm » permalink
I could not for the life of me decide what to post today (a common problem), so I chose to go with something simple since it's a busy week. Chain of Strength is certainly not an obscure "straightedge" hardcore band, but I've had the song "True Till Death" stuck in my head like crazy this week (I think it started when I got in an empty elevator at work the other day and it reeked of cigarettes, go figure), so when I pulled out the disc last night I figured what the hell.
The band was from southern California and was only around for a little over three years, with members having played with Justice League and Hard Stance beforehand (they also shared members with Inside Out and No for an Answer at certain points, but I think there was some overlap with the existence of Chain of Strength there). They released their first 7", "True Till Death" on Revelation Records in 1989, and their second, "What Holds Us Apart", on Foundation Records in 1990. Five or six years later Revelation re-released both 7"s and a previously unreleased track on a CD called "The One Thing That Still Holds True". Perhaps an ironic title, as the band didn't really "hold true" even when they were around, creating much debate about their "straightedge" status even before they broke up by admitting in interviews to "occasionally drink" and later claiming that "straightedge doesn't mean never". You can check out this solid interview from 1991, weeks after the band's demise, for more on that. Personally, I disagree with the interview's stance that sort of tosses off derogatory reactions to the band's not-exactly-straightedge reality as coming from "militants", because regardless of what your opinions of straightedge are, "militancy" has nothing to do with it. It's just plain logic: If you "occasionally drink", you're not straightedge. The end.
But all that crap aside, what really matters is that the material still totally kicks ass and is classic to this day as nothing more than good ol' youth crew hardcore.
After the band called it quits, members later resurfaced most notably in Statue and Circle Storm, with guitarist Paul "Frosty" Hertz eventually joining Man Will Surrender for one album. For whatever reason I was never that big on Circle Storm, but I always loved Statue's "Filter the Infection" EP. That's life.
The reissue is of course still in print, so if by chance there are any youngsters reading this who've continually missed the boat, pick it up from the label's rather immense distro catalog:
Oddly enough, on the other end of the spectrum opposite straightedge, I was listening to Grimple in the car all morning and was reminded how awesome they were, so don't be surprised if they pop up here in the next week or so.