Album Reviews

Santa Cruz – Screaming for Adrenaline Review

santacruz_cover

Released by: Spinefarm Records

Release Date: Out Now!!!

Genre: Hard Rock/Sleaze

Links: http://www.santacruz.fi/

 

Line Up:

Arttu “Archie” Kuosmanen – vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar

Joonas “Johnny” Parkkonen – guitar, acoustic guitar, backing vocals

Mitja “Middy” Toivonen – bass, backing vocals

Tapani “Taz” Fagerström – drums, percussion, backing vocals

 

Tracklist:

1. Screaming For Adrenaline

2. Anthem For The Young ’n’ Restless

3. Relentless Renegades

4. Sweet Sensation

5. Nothing Compares To You

6. High On You

7. Let´s Get The Party Started

8. Alive

9. Lovin’ You ( Is Just For Playing )

10. Aiming High

11. Let Me ( Lay My Love On You )

 

I’ve been listening to ‘Screaming for Adrenaline’ for a couple of months now and there’s no getting away from the fact that I end up with the stupidest grin on my face every time I do. This album epitomizes good time rock ‘n’ roll and contains everything that made the 80’s LA scene great and also embodies the current surge in quality output from Scandinavia.

Finland’s Santa Cruz was formed in the year 2007, released self-produced EP “Anthems For The Young ´n´ Restless”(2011) and on the back of it secured a deal with Spinefarm to release this, their full length debut.

To quote track 7 on the album, ‘Let’s Get The Party Started’ and they do with a wonderful bass line that wouldn’t be out of place on albums from Mötley Crüe or L.A.Guns in their heyday. ‘Screaming for Adrenaline’ sees a snotty attitude filled approach from Arttu “Archie” Kuosmanen with a voice not a million miles away from Axl Rose. The guitars have that punky crunch to them and Tapani “Taz” Fagerström’s machine gun drumming create an epic wall of sound.

‘Anthem For The Young ‘n’ Restless’ has one of those soaring vocal breaks that just sticks in the head long after the album has finished with Archie leaving us in no doubt that he is of a generation that is “… just living it up, nothing’s gonna stop me, I just don’t give a fuck”. This is the ‘Youth Gone Wild’ for the 21st century. A chant along ‘Relentless Renegades’ with ‘WHO’ & ‘HEY’ dispersed throughout the song will have a crowd punching the air in unison. ‘Sweet Sensation’ maintains the bass driven rhythm and on the chorus we are treated to our first full on “Whoah Oah Oh”. Cliché’d it may be but the crowd these guys are going to attract will love nothing more than being able to sing along to this. Have a listen to the subtle , sublime, guitar playing underneath it all as well.

When you see ‘Nothing Compares to You’ on the track listing you may fear a certain shaven headed Irish lady popping up on the album to either sing or have a go at Miley Cyrus. Thankfully the first ballad of the album appears in name only and comes across as classic Poison. It’s certainly a track Bret Michaels might wish he’d written.

Utilizing every trick in the stadium rock book (have we used jungles noises yet? No? Right then let’s throw them in next!) ‘High on You’ has again elements of guitar work seen on Appetite for Destruction but it’s definitely a homage to GnR rather than theft. The vocals soar and on the chorus it’s impossible not to join in with your voice most likely scaring the cats and dogs in the surrounding neighborhood.

On ‘Let’s Get The Party Started’, Joonas “Johnny” Parkkonen gets to lead from the front. Its a great intro although it’s entirely possible Slash may be calling asking for his riff back! ‘Alive’ sums up the feel of the album overall and in an era where so many quality Nordic acts are emerging (H.E.A.T, Reckless Love, Crashdiet, Crazy Lixx, Fatal Smile, Eclipse, W.E.T. to name a few) Santa Cruz can stand shoulder to shoulder with them all. ‘Loving You (Is Just For Playing)’ and ‘Aiming High’ maintain the style and standard heard so far and on the latter evoke memories of classic Skid Row.

The 45 minute album (fits perfectly on one side of a TDK C90) bows out with ‘Let Me (Lay My Love On You)’. Again the lyrics draw a wry smile for their cock rock innuendo but it’s great fun and that, at the end of the day, is exactly what this music should bring.

“Light my fire baby, we’re gonna get crazy, let me lay my love on you”

Play it to your girl, it cannot fail, it must be the adrenaline!!

 

Written by Adrian

Ratings    Adrian    9/10

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