This past Thursday, I learned that Southern Cali late 80s hardcore act Chain of Strength played a free show up in New York City. I was already going to Texas Is The Reason’s reunion show, so I wasn’t going to be able to catch them, but I have been on a serious Chain Of Strength kick as of late now.
Over their relatively short career, Chain of Strength released two EPs, which were released as a full length entitled The One Thing That Still Holds True. One of the more overlooked straight edge* hardcore bands, they were essential in defining the youth-crew sound, and influencing countless of hardcore bands today. With their raw but catchy melodies and pissed shouts, I imagine their live shows were nothing short of fucking insane.
Rant warning: Now I know a lot of people who can’t get past the whole straight edge hardcore thing, and if you’re one of them, I recommend you give them a chance anyway. The lyrics are more about thinking for yourself than the militant shit like Earth Crisis. While growing up, I never really drank much or did any drugs (I still never have gotten drunk), I also never really considered myself “straight edge” because I thought it was sort of dumb to define yourself by what you don’t do (I’m not going to get an anti-golf tattoo since I don’t play golf).
However, growing up with some alcoholism in the genes and deciding I never wanted to be part of that, bands such as Chain Of Strength and Minor Threat reminded my awkward high school self that it was ok to make my own choices, and to ignore the judgement of those that did. For that reason, straight edge hardcore will always have a special place in my heart even though you never saw an X on my hand, or I’d be helping my friend do a keg stand even if I wasn’t going to do one myself. And I believe that is the point of hardcore… to teach us to think for ourselves.[/END RANT]