Let’s get something out of the way, I’m fucking straight edge. I feel it is important to lead with this pertinent information when it comes to reviewing this record. If you also identify with the lifestyle or perhaps you don’t and simply enjoy bands that have that classic Judge/Strife sound, I implore you, keep reading, we have a great record to talk about.
Before A Truth We Still Believe came out, I was having a conversation with some friends about the state of straight edge music in 2020.
One aspect we were ruminating on was the fact that bands of the subgenre just didn’t speak plainly anymore.
Many tracks that have come out in my recent memory seem to lean more on veiled messages, that for the uninitiated would be hard to discern. I’ve always thought the most effective lyrics in regards to straight edge were the ones that spoke directly. Think songs like “In My Eyes”, “Clear”, “Smash It," etc.
With all this being said, South Florida's Ecostrike is veiling nothing in regards to their convictions on their sophomore performance and I am very about it.
I’ve always thought Ecostrike was pretty good. Previously, I was more into their vibe and message rather than their sound. I like Strife and I know since Ecostrike started they’ve been posited as a modern Strife incarnation, but on this new record I feel they have really come into their own. They find a cross point of sounding like Strife still, but incorporating some elements of Judge and making it sound distinctly from modern as opposed to something that could have been plucked from the New Age catalog back in the day.
It sounds clean, tastefully metallic, and solid all around.
My favorite song on the record is “Another Promise” because lyrically it hits so close to home.
Other standouts are “Count Me Out” and “A Truth We Still Believe," The latter of these two has an anthemic vibe that I’m sure will evoke the biggest of pile ons at the first show they are able to play off this record (Hell, I might go to said show myself just so I can join in). The tremolo harmonic work on “Letting Go” simply rocks and adds a cool guitar element to the track.
“A Better Way” reminds you that Ecostrike is also convicted in regards to animal’s lives, speaking plainly about veganism and empathy towards fellow sentient beings. When it comes to commitment, this record hits a lot of points.
A lot of the hardcore I first got introduced to was about unity, friendship, straight edge, and sticking to one’s word, this record brings me back to how I felt about those early records in my journey into the subculture. It’s like seeing an old friend’s child and seeing some much of their parent in their features, but the child being distinctly their own person as opposed to a copy.
Having a sophomore LP best your debut LP is not an easy feat and Ecostrike has done it.
I recommend everyone listen to this record at their earliest convenience and show anyone new to the genre looking for hardcore that has something real and sincere to say.
“You’re free to live the way you want, but you can count me out.”