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Articles Home » Music Reviews » Santa Cruz Bad Blood Rising Release date: November 10, 2017 M-theory Audio Album Review
Santa Cruz Bad Blood Rising Release date: November 10, 2017 M-theory Audio Album Review

Santa Cruz

Bad Blood Rising

Release date: November 10, 2017

M-theory Audio

Album Review by Allyson Kingsley Music Journalist with Boston Rock Radio



The hard rock quartet Santa Cruz hail from Helsinki, Finland. The group formed in 2007 with vocalist/guitarist Archie Kuosmanen, guitarist/backing vocalist Johnnie Parkkonen and bassist/backing vocalist Middy Toivonen. Drummer Taz Fagerstrom later joined in 2009. Their EP Anthems for the Young N Restless  was released in 2012. First studio album Screaming for Adrenaline was released in 2013 via Spinefarm Records. In my research I listened to this treat and it reminded me of the band White Lion.


Their second LP self-titled titled Santa Cruz  had a heavier yet still glam sound that was also released via Spinefarm in 2015, another randy treat. Now unleashed is Bad Blood Rising.  Produced by M-Theory Audio and recorded at Finnvox Studios. Santa Cruz started touring

in the UK in December 2017.


The opening track “Young Blood Rising” takes off with crisp edgy vocals and captivating guitar work. The video is superb and captures their infectious energy. “River Phoenix" is also a rambunctious song with that badass 80s robust guitar work. On “Fire Running Through Our Veins,” the splendid energy continues and a hint of metalcore can be heard. Slower groove but no less fiery on the guitars and bass, “Drag Me Out of the Darkness" had a touch less zeal.  “Breathe,” an attempt at a classic metal ballad style, was a little on the cheesy side. I was not keen on the whistling nor the woah-ah-oh parts. “Voice of the New Generation” is a party track reminiscent of the glam metal of 1988.  “Back from the Dead" is more redeeming, even dipping their toes into the nu metal realm. Jagging riffs and Archie’s high-end pipes shine well on this track. “Bad Habits Die Hard" had a watered-down pop tone to the vocals unfortunately.  Some of the vocal work in general needs more authority, more of the fire and crass of their previous albums. “Get me Out of California" has a crushing rhythm sounding a bit like Firehouse and some sexy Slash style casework. Definitive enjoyment of the fretwork and drumming throughout this release.


The simplistic lyrics do not reach the heights of poetical lyrical brilliance but it's still rather fun. They may want to veer away from the land of ballads. This is a decent foundation of hard rock with a nod to up-to-date influences but the vocals need more fuel. Otherwise a helluva lot of fun.



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