Deaf Dumb and Blind (Grand Theft Audio)
by Jon Sarre
Richmond, VA’s White Cross proudly proclaim themselves to be “Tipper Gore’s All-Time Favorite Band.” Sure, I’ll buy that; speed worship and antisocial lyrics about how much you hate pretty much everyone else’s set of values is gonna peeve America’s number one arbitrator of what’s sick in music (Gotta protect the kids from that damn punk rock, y’know). Hell, most parents would get pissed off listening to the music, never mind the near-indecipherable lyrics. This disc is packed with 41 tracks of old-time hardcore (recorded between ’81 and ’85): Grinding guitar riffs, drums and bass struggling to keep the rhythm going, and a singer growling out paeans of negativity, self-hate and loathing, directed at authority figures, posers and, being TV babies and all (like the rest of us), the omnipresent media industry.
What the murky production captures is a band that was not a whole lot different from the hundreds of other hardcore bands that proliferated in the early ’80s, but that annoying need to preach to the “kids” about how they need to overthrow the capitalist oppressor government and draw Xs on their hands is rejected in favor of beer, speed, and search ‘n’ destroy rock ‘n’ roll ethic. I see ’em as a less-polished, more pissed-off Gang Green. Anyway, they’ve been defunct for going on 10 years now; so this is all that’s left.