Santa Cruz – ‘Bad Blood Rising’ (M-Theory) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Phil Cooper   
Friday, 10 November 2017 04:00

SC BBR CoverLRG02‘Bad Blood Rising’ represents the third album from Finnish rockers Santa Cruz. The band have stated that, having started working with new label M-Theory, they are looking to establish a slightly different outlook for themselves while still retaining their original sound and style that drew in their established fanbase. From the previous offerings of studio albums, the listener can expect a blend of hard hitting guitar riffs and pounding drums with a polished edge.


Kicking straight in with ‘Young Blood Rising’ and there is a definite sound of a band that wear their influences on their collective sleeve for all to hear. Sounding like a hard rock band taken from 1980s LA, Santa Cruz deliver fast paced guitar riffs coupled with an intense rhythm section. There’s an infectious party atmosphere akin to early Motley Crue that bleeds into the music and certainly pulls the listener in.


‘River Phoenix’ was the initial single released back in the summer and once more capitalises on the infectious jubilance shown in the album opener. Plenty of guitar antics to keep the listener entertained while the rhythm section keeps the track anchored and a highly catchy chorus that will certainly prove a hit on the upcoming live shows.  Similarly, ‘Drag Me Out of The Darkness’ will definitely be one to win over live audiences. It provides a lighter in the air moment (for those that still have them) and a big air guitar solo.


If the opening track can draw comparison with the party atmosphere of Crue, ‘Breathe’ easily has elements of Guns ‘N’ Roses in their more reflective state of mind. It’s not too big a stretch to imagine this track being an early take of ‘Patience’, not only is there the whistle (which is extremely catchy), there’s the layered acoustic guitar, piano and string pads all used to great effect for creating a thick texture. The vocals stand proud of the mix thanks to a little reverb and well-placed harmonies. It culminates in a track that could potentially go astray and lead to either a parody or even pompous self-indulgence. However, the quartet have nailed it and it instead comes across as a well-crafted track offering a step back from the full-on party atmosphere that’s been on offer thus far.


‘Pure Fucking Adrenaline’ does exactly what it says on the tin. Punchy, overdriven guitar riffs provide a call and response with the growling vocals during the verse while a rumbling bass line underpins the melody. The pace is set by the drums with a heavy bass/snare attack and tribal toms. If there was someone looking to be critical of ‘Bad Blood Rising’ there is the element that a lot of what has been shown has been covered some time ago by the likes of the bands namechecked above.


That Santa Cruz are capitalizing on an established sound and rehashing ideas from those that have gone before. However, in this circumstance it’s apparent that while Santa Cruz do clearly display their influences and make no effort to hide that fact, they have definitely created their own sound and taken those original styles to produce a bang up to date unique album. There is undeniable musicianship from the band and the fact that the tracks can draw comparison with some great pre-existing artists should not be frowned upon.


‘Bad Blood Rising’ is definitely a great addition to the catalogue of Santa Cruz and will go a long way in further establishing their sound and style within the rock and metal community. It is without a doubt a party album with a dynamic edge that also inspires introspective and reflective moments, showcasing the talented song writing and musicianship within the band.


‘Bad Blood Rising’ is released today (Friday 10 November).


All content © Über Rock. Not to be reproduced in part or in whole without the express written permission of Über Rock.