Formed in 1984 in California, Détente were like those bright stars which shine for a moment and then explode. The initial line-up was Dawn Crosby (vocals), Dennis Butler (drums), Ross Robinson (guitars) and Steve Hochheiser (bass). Before the release of the full-length ‘Recognize No Authority‘, there were three demos and a lot of changes in the band’s line-up. Living and creating in a time and place where the heart of the underground thrash scene was beating fast, Détente really had the spirit and passion of their time. This can be recognized by anyone, not only by listening to their music, but by taking a look at their biography as well. The frequent changes in line-up, often combined with disagreements derived from spontaneous explosions of their characters, reveal that Détente was a band of original 80’s thrashers. This means, that they were part of the two music scenes which emerged at that time in the USA; punk and thrash, the so-called ‘crossover’.
Making an impact through their demos and live shows, Détente signed with Roadrunner Records and in 1986 released ‘Recognize No Authority‘. Ten tracks which last 30-something minutes of pure 80’s crossover thrash. As the remaining members lately stated, ‘Recognize…‘ was not only an angry-to-be-angry album, but wanted to have a clear social and political substance. This is obvious, from the track titles, the lyrics of course, as well as the intro of some tracks, which are excerpts of news broadcasts. The track ‘Holy War‘, which has an amazing and catchy bass intro that really stands out, is about the war in the Middle East. ‘Blood I Bleed‘, a very emotionally strong track, is about the exploitation of women. Apart from the very good musical composition – quick and heavy riffs, which often slow down to give a more sinister atmosphere, heavy metal-ish solos, and hammering drums – what completes this album is the passion of Dawn Crosby. Her amazing punk-style vocals had a great range, and more importantly, showed genuine passion and anger.
Dawn Crosby left the band after ‘Recognize…‘ and created Fear Of God with Michael Schäfer (ex-Fog). As the biography of Détente implies, Crosby was probably a true punk as an artist and a person. It is certain that she belonged to the “pantheon” of front-women of the heavy/hardcore music scene. Unfortunately, she died from complications due to alcohol and drug abuse in 1996 (age 33). After she left Détente, the band split up for a while and then reunited, releasing the album ‘Decline‘ in 2010, and then split up again. In 2014 the album was re-released by Xtreem Music, including the early demos. What is interesting is a statement from Roadrunner which applies perfectly to Détente: “some music was meant to stay underground”.