Truth Through Defiance

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With the breakup of Strife, America's flagship straight-edge band, Victory Records released Truth Through Defiance, a collection of demos and rehearsal tapes. The song list includes alternate versions of some of the songs from One Truth and most of In This Defiance (hence the collection's title), as well as a few other odds and ends. The result, frankly, is one of the band' s more compelling albums -- it doesn't have the cohesive power of In This Defiance, but there's an attractive rawness and immediacy to the rehearsal tapes that was missing on One Truth. "All From the Past" is breathtaking, a headlong sprint propelled by Rick Rodney's powerhouse shout-singing; "Untitled" seems to actually use an electronic drum sample, of all things. The program ends with a live recording of "Question Mark," a lumbering, metallish number that seems to be about homelessness. Excellent.

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