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Nineteen Eighty Seven
Artist: Whitecross  
Label: Girder Music
Length: 15 tracks/53:42 

Hair metal was more the look. You know, the hair spray, makeup, tight jeans and, well, hair. You had to have a rippin’ guitar player and a singer with that gravel-gruff high pitched vocal. Along with all this, you had to have songs. 

Face it, many of this genre of bands-both secular and Christian-had killer songs. Whitecross excelled with Rex Carroll on guitar and Scott Wenzel on vocals, but  they were crazy over-the-top amazing when it came to song writing. The debut on Pure Metal in 1987 put Whitecross on the map for good and set the standard in Christian metal. The band continued with the ‘80's and ‘90's but little has been heard in years. 
Carroll and Wenzel, along with former drummer Mike Feighan, reunited in 2005. As well as talking about recording new material, the band decided  to the re-record their groundbreaking their 1987 self titled debut on Pure Metal that is long out of print. 

Representing what is best about the genre, opener “Who Will You Follow” contains all the bells and whistle that makes this sound work so well. Crunchy guitar riffs, searing lead guitar, ear piercing vocals, metallic hooks galore and a lyric that, if it doesn’t demand an answer, certainly pushes the listener toward an affirmative answer. There is no break with “Enough Is Enough,” “He Is the Rock,” and “Looking for a Reason.” Things spark even hotter with “No Way I’m Going Down.” Served up with  resolve to spare, you’ll walk away definitely ready to made your stand! Carroll’s lead is short but makes the “Human Torch” pale in comparison. The lead flourishes throughout the remainder of the song are absolutely KICK BUTT!! Instrumental “Nagasake” will leave your limp. Man, can this guy play!

Also included are two bonus tracks from 1988, “Love On the Line”  which was never before on CD and a new guitar solo/song “Re-Animate” by Carroll.

1987 is absolutely not just for reminiscing. Besides being just plain good with a capital “G,” it will help with this thing called the Christian life.

Here’s a collector’s tip. If you get one of the first 2000 CDs pressed, you will get four extra out-takes from the band’s recent recordings. 
 
Bob Felberg


 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
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