'The past, the present' CD / LP (+book)
Refuse Records
I'm such a fucking jerk for not having reviewed this cornerstone for the worldwide hardcore scene yet. It's been more than a year since the post-officer brought me the CD version of this and almost 8 months since I got the cute vinyl edition including the book in my hands.
First things first... Birds Of A Feather is a kinda all star straight edge hardcore band based in Holland. They consist of ex-members of Mainstrike, Crivits, Manliftingbanner, Betray, Strike First, No Denial, BTD, In Defence and the editor of the legendary Value Of Strength fanzine. As you can figure out all the members are old enough (Marc for example is 43 years old).
Their first release was a 7" that accompanied Voice Of A Generation fanzine issue 1 (run by Peter - Crucial Response Records and Arne - ex Sportswear, Onward and Contention) back in 2005, if I'm right. Since then they have released a bunch of 7"s, tapes and CDs via well known hardcore labels like Commitment Records.

'The past, the present' is their debut full length album that includes 13 songs of 80s style youth crew / old school hardcore fueled with sing-alongs and positive messages. There's a strong pro-Krishna touch in their lyrics, as well. All the songs are full of energy and passion and it's clear that Birds Of A Feather members are still dedicated to the straight edge hardcore after all these years. The artwork in both formats is super cool; the CD version includes a 16 pages booklet with decent photos and lyrics, while the vinyl version has a gatefold cover (I'm lucky enough to have a copy of the 1st press, that means a colored vinyl, ha!) with all the info & lyrics.
Backing vocals are provided by members of Reaching Forward, Eye Of Judgement, Guidingline, A Step Apart, Robert Commitment Records and more...
All in all, this is a straightedge hardcore record that all the (straight edge or not) hardcore kids should have in their collection. Period.

'The past, the present 1982-2007 | A History of 25 years of European straight edge' is the book that accompanies the vinyl edition. As far as I know it's the first book that deals strictly with the European straight edge scene... Marc & JP from Birds Of A Feather took care of this inestimable publication, trying to cover the whole European straight edge scene since 1982, focusing on their country, Holland. The 12" format book includes 108 pages and more than 250 photos. Tens of people and bands are interviewed in the publication, making it one of the best European hardcore publications that have ever been released.
I've nothing more to add. Do a favor to yourself and get both the book and the record.

'It takes dedication if we want to gain insight'