Release Date: Out Now (November 10)
Genre: Hard Rock
What is it about Finland producing so many great Rock/Metal bands for such a tiny nation? It seems whatever genre of music you prefer, there is a band from Finland near the top of the pile! This can certainly be said about Santa Cruz as well. Formed in 2007 the band has just got better with every release, their live shows are absolutely electrifying, and they now present their third long-player Bad Blood Rising.
Immediately you can sense a passing nod to Motley Crue and Guns ‘N’ Roses running down the core of this album and the 80’s feel is obvious in opener Young Blood Rising. The big vocal, the big guitars, the heavy rhythm and the big chorus are a command to let your hair down (not literally in my case) and have fun! River Phoenix is written about the start of a new era for the band, however, “We’re going down like River Phoenix, to rise up from the ashes once again” is a perplexing and interesting lyric, to say the least. As most Rock bands tend to do we have the obligatory ballad Breathe to slow things down at the midway point although Santa Cruz throws in some whistling.
Now I am sure to be corrected but I can’t remember a single Rock song which was improved or enhanced by some whistling! For me, this is the only unnecessary moment on the album although the actual song is pleasant enough. Anyway, we are back to business on Voice Of The New Generation, Back From The Dead and my favorite track Get Me Out Of California with its brilliant guitar solo and memorable chorus. The album closes with a stripped back version of track two River Phoenix that builds and builds to leave the listener wanting more. The overall songwriting and musicianship are improving with every subsequent release and the band is getting bigger and better with their sound. Just lose the whistling!!
This release has blistering heavy moments and some light softer songs are thrown into the mix. Santa Cruz is a band definitely on the rise and this album, along with their blistering live performances, should elevate the band and bring them to the attention of a much wider audience.
Written by: Simon Kneller