SANTA CRUZ Album Review

Helsinki’s (Finland) Premier Adrenaline Pushers Santa Cruz — have released their second studio album ‘Santa Cruz’ today March 9th via Spinefarm Records.

A string of live dates follow this release, with the band supporting Amaranthe across Europe.

Santa Cruz - Fierce enough for you to air-guitar along to [...] with  a lit stick of dynamite between your teeth...

Santa Cruz – Fierce enough for you to air-guitar along to […] with a lit stick of dynamite between your teeth…

Naturally enough, we have been listening to the album all day long:

It begins with ‘Bonafide Heroes’ and a host of fluttering cherubic voices saying that they “Believe they can fly…” But the cherubim are quickly pushed aside by a furious noise. As we all know, right now, we need bonafide heroes… this is not the time for wimps in nylon onesies. Or babies with wings stuck precariously onto their pudgy limbs.

No, we need courage to face this ever-frightening world… So, luckily, this song gives us the guts to carry on. The urgent hook and those searing vocals will fry your face off.

Velvet Rope’ could be a nod to the BDSM world, but lighter shade of gray it is not. This is unmistakably heavy metal and so full of vigor and strut that you will need to wear a tin-hat just to listen to it… The drum-work is breathtaking and the melting guitars bubble and bleed with a pleasing pride.

My Remedy’ is spookily Eastern sounding. With intertwining guitars and a riveting beat, the riff thunders through this like molten lava — and it’s more addictive than a diet of opiates.

Wasted & Wounded’ has angelic vocals and some very clever instrumentality. We thought that this was very suggestive of Def Leppard.

Heavy enough for you to be happy head-banging along with your mates, fierce enough for you to air-guitar along to, with a lit stick of dynamite between your teeth, yet deluxe enough for you to play while your’e doing humpy-bump with your girlfriend.

The album is completed with ‘Can You Feel The Rain’ with its death-gong harbinger of sound heralding-in the same dynamic and wondrous vocals that we had half-an-album back on Wasted & Wounded. Never mind.

Archie’s main vocal on this last track is slightly curious – but the oddity only adds an eccentric tilt to the song —making it more than “just another” bog standard metal anthem — and bringing with it an enjoyable slice of innovation.

Above average and consistently reliable hard-rock with dynamic, electrified vocals and a profusion of wonderful ideas…

Words: @neilmach 2015 ©



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