Truer Living With a Youthful Vengeance is a masterclass in musical mediocrity. Hardcore at its best can provide generations with motivation, and lyrical messages that redefine their most fundamental belief structures. This record provides neither of those things. Instead, we are treated to a rehashing of the meat-and-potatoes style of hardcore; it’s not flashy, and the fact that it isn’t is absolutely fine with me. Some of the greatest bands in the world have made a living from writing simple 3 chord songs. The difference between those bands and Dynasty is that those other bands have the songwriting ability to distract you from that fact. With Dynasty, all I can hear are the power chords.
Truer Living With A Youthful Vengeance only takes an impressive 13 seconds to break into the first verse of the record on the song “Worthless Will.” It is as straightforward a start to an album as you’d expect, and the band chug along in typical hardcore fashion with big riffs and no frills. The problem is that once this song is over, the record doesn’t go anywhere, and at this point, there are still 9 songs remaining to be heard. I’ve come to learn that holding expectations is the biggest barrier to getting any enjoyment out of this album.
Once you’ve given up on the idea of being musically dazzled by the band, it’s reasonable to take solace in the fact that there might be a great social or political message buried behind that deep, rough vocal. Sadly, when you begin to analyse the message behind the lyrics, you will, as I have done, come up empty-handed. Searching for a lyrical highlight is a tiresome process in itself with this album, but here are a few of the examples that show the clear lack of lyrical depth on show: “triumph and truth, freedom is here,” “what are you going to do when your world falls through, where are you going to turn when there is nowhere to go” and “I won’t sit back and watch what I love be destroyed, no more standing aside, this is something we can’t avoid.” For all of the gang vocals featured throughout the record, you would think that the band would have put together something worthwhile to shout about. In a word, it’s mindless.
Over time, hardcore has become a massive, inclusive genre showcasing a variety of perspectives and life outlooks. There is a place for Christian hardcore in this spectrum of sound, but Dynasty are, at best, a poor example of what this genre could be, and where it could go in the future. I don’t want to go so far as to call this a record completely without merit, as I’m sure that these songs will translate well into a live setting; but for anyone who wants to be challenged intellectually as well as stimulated by the sounds, this is not an album for you.