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Whitecross - Nineteen Eighty Seven (5/10) - USA - 2005/2007

Genre: Glam Metal
Label: Retroactive Records
Playing time: 52:32
Band homepage: Whitecross

Tracklist:

  1. Who Will You Follow
  2. Enough Is Enough
  3. He Is The Rock
  4. Lookin’ For A Reason
  5. No Way I’m Going Down
  6. Seein’ Is Believin’
  7. All I Need
  8. Nagasaki
  9. Signs Of The End
  10. Love On The Line
  11. Re: Animate
  12. Bonus Track 12
  13. Bonus Track 13
  14. Bonus Track 14
  15. Bonus Track 15
Whitecross - Nineteen Eighty Seven

Here’s proof, if you needed it, that not everything that was “Made In The 80s” was good.

 

“Nineteen Eighty Seven” is actually a re-recording of Christian Hair Metal band WHITECROSS’s eponymous debut album, originally released way back in, you guessed it, 1987. So that makes this version, the Retroactive printing, the reissue of a remake. What an extraordinary turn of events!

 

It’s difficult to play in a Christian Hair Metal band without drawing serious comparisons to the heavyweights of the genre: Michael Sweet and the boys from STRYPER. Right off the bat, it’s clear that WHITECROSS are no STRYPER; hell, they’re not even a MAD MAX. Simply put, WHITECROSS’s songwriting skills are not up to snuff.

 

Sure, the opening riffs of “Who Will You Follow” are promising enough, and then comes the wild guitar solo…and then comes the RATT-like vocals of singer Scott Wenzel. I’ve never heard the original recording of this song, but my guess is that Wenzel’s vocal skills have faded somewhat over the years. Added to this is the entirely forgettable chorus, and bam, one song in and my interest has waned considerably.

 

The rest of the record doesn’t fare much better. These are typical, generic Hair Metal songs that didn’t do anything new in 1987 (even the Christian theme had already been claimed and perfected by STRYPER), and they’re certainly not doing anything new twenty years later. The only difference is that twenty years ago, this stuff could have sold well. Maybe.

 

If RATT-meets-STRYPER is your thing, then “Nineteen Eighty Seven” is your dream album. However, everyone else in the world can safely pass on this CD. It’s nothing you haven’t seen before, and the poor quality of the songwriting doesn’t make up for its familiarity at all. 

(By the way, those mystery “bonus tracks” are all short instrumentals, amounting to less than five minutes between the four of them.  Just so you know.)

(Online March 12, 2008)

Mitchel Betsch



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