Strife "One Truth" CDPosted on Friday, April 13th, 2007 @ 7:41am » permalink
I decided this week that, as far as I'm concerned, Strife's "One Truth" is one of the greatest hardcore records of all time. Period. Not to mention a true classic from the golden age (pre-emo cash cow, of course) of Victory Records. Sure, the recording's too thin (hey, it was 1994), but from a songwriting standpoint this shit's gold. I was all over this record when I was 18 or whatever, but even today I can still listen to these jams and want to scream until my face explodes. I don't care whether or not you're straightedge; I don't care that the band "sold out" "the edge" years afterwards; and I don't care that this album, their debut, was pretty much 10 times better than any of their other output (sans one standalone gem of note – see below): If you're a fan of hardcore, you should own and love this record. (Unless you're in/past your late-30's and refuse to listen to any hardcore that came out after 1989 or whatnot, ha.) Hell, looking back on records like this makes it a little easier for me to understand why I don't get too excited over much hardcore these days.
Upon a foundation of standard power chords and those super plunky basslines that were so prevalent amidst the hardcore of that era, the band added just the right amount of metal: Lightly chugging rhythms, some slick lead breaks, badass little palm-muting riffs… and, yes, even a straight up "ballad" ("Slipping", and I always loved that shit). They were probably big fans of Judge or something – also developing bits of that west coast style (at least on this album) that was also being honed by their contemporaries in Outspoken and such along the way. And, man, Rick Rodney's vocals were just the shit: Totally pissed, at times unhinged, and yet quite convincingly emotional (in a good way). There were even subtle hints of melody in there too, so his singing wasn't half bad either (Just check out that fuckin' metal shriek near the end of "Question Mark"!). He was a great fuckin' frontman all around. Great band, too. So I'm just gonna shut up. Listen for yourself:
Unlike so many other 90's hardcore jewels, this one remains readily available (Victory Records is still good for somethin'), so if you missed out 13 years ago, you know what to do:
As for that "standalone gem" mentioned above, "Untitled" – which was on the soundtrack to that movie "Godmoney" (never saw it) that Rick Rodney was in – absolutely crushes everything else Strife did post-"One Truth", and is actually my single favorite Strife track ever. It's one of the most ragingly furious songs I've ever heard in my life, and totally makes you feel like beating the shit out of everyone on the planet. Unsurprisingly, the video's on YouTube, so enjoy… and try not to kill anyone, eh?
God damn, that shit actually gives me chills. The way his voice drops off the first time he screams, "Someone just take me out…", (around 1:58 above) makes me fuckin' lose it. Amazing. Fuckin' amazing.
The song was later released on Strife's "Truth Through Defiance" collection, so buy that shit, too. It's worth the price for this track alone, I shit you not.