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Born in the late 60's, Chesy hails from a Welsh mining village with a long name and was pretty glad when he got the Hell out of there. He got into Rock/Metal in about 1980, thanks to a TISWAS related incident (Rainbow video for All Night Long) and thankfully has never looked back. Chesy often sang solo in the school choir, but thanks to a puberty related incident his voice is now completely bolloxed, although in his own head Paul thinks he sounds like a blend of Coverdale and Dio (R.I.P). He was brought up on the classics - Deep Purple, Rainbow, Thin Lizzy, Rush, Whitesnake and loved melodic rock and the Hair Bands of the 80's. (Nowadays, he has progressed a little and prefers a more technical and/or progressive metal - Dream Theater, Rush, Symphony X, Porcupine Tree, Pain Of Salvation, Spock's Beard. He hates Black and Death Metal (can't stand the grunting) but for some unknown reason loves the magnificent Opeth! He wont stop this blog until his beloved FM finally play the likes of the NEC as a headlining act!!!

Thursday 9 November 2017

Santa Cruz - 'Bad Blood Rising' Review

Santa Cruz – Bad Blood Rising

I have a theory about Finnish rock  & metal bands, once they have finished college they have to do a years National Service (something that would benefit the ‘yoof’ of today here in the UK who expect everything on a plate). I'm certain that a part of this National Service is to start a band, such is the number of Finnish bands!

They have been praised by Rolling Stone mag as ‘One of the Top 10 bands you need to know in 2017’ for their ‘debaucherous, flamboyant flair’. High praise indeed.

They are partnered with a new label M-Theory Audio. Previously they were with Spinefarm. So what about ‘Bad Blood Rising?’

'Young Blood Rising' gets the album off to a powerful start with is more of an anthem for the disaffected youth, aimed squarely at arena rock and a blistering guitar solo. ‘River Phoenix’ uses the audio from the police call on that fateful night. It enters into a pop rock affair that seen on the likes of Scuzz. Decent, but not captivating enough. ‘Fire Running Through Our Veins’ tries a lot harder to be different. Its thumping enough, but its like there's a formula being laid down with similar choruses to the previous tracks.

‘Drag Me Out Of The Darkness’ is a mid paced song that does not grab you by the balls and make you listen.  “Breathe’ with its whistling opener, thankfully doesn’t morph into Winds Of Change. Archie Kuosmanen has a decent voice, but this, along with ‘Back From The Dead’ and ‘Breathe’ are clearly not playing to his talents. ‘Voice of a New Generation’ is the kind of song that Shinedown do better. Its good, but it could be bigger and better. ‘Pure Fucking Adrenaline’ does what it says on the tin – it’s a Metallica x with Crue x Megadeth style song. ‘Get Me Out Of California’ is more on the melodic rock/AOR side, and after the opener, it’s the second best for me on the album, its more Mr Big than Mister Crowley. Another 4 or 5 of this quality, and it would be a great album.

Santa Cruz showed some good touched early on in their career and have had some success in their native Finland and snared some decent tours.

Glam was almost dead in the early 90s. Whilst there are a few keeping its head afloat, I don’t see many making a killing out of it. I cant say that I don’t like this but there’s not enough on here that’s decent enough to make me ‘love’ it.

There’s too much ‘average’ being settled for by labels in the Melodic Rock/AOR/Sleaze these days. I’ll certainly go watch them live as I think that some of these will come across a lot better than they do on the album.

Score 65/100

Santa Cruz are –
Archie Kuosmanen – vocals/guitar)
Johnny Parkkonen – (guitars/vocals)
Middy Toivonen (bass)
Taz Fagerström – (drums)

Young Blood Rising
River Phoenix
Fire Running Through Our Veins
Drag Me Out Of The Darkness
Voice Of The New Generation
Back From The Dead
Bad Habits Die Hard
Purer Fucking Adrenaline
Get Me Out Of California
River Phoenix (Pt 2)

Santa Cruz will return to the UK in December for a headline tour. Dates for the run are:

05.12. Nottingham, UK - Rescue Rooms
06.12. Milton Keynes, UK - Crauford Arms
07.12. Grimsby, UK - Yardbirds
08.12. Sheffield, UK - Corporation
09.12. Birmingham, UK - The Flapper
10.12. Glasgow, UK - Cathouse
12.12. Manchester, UK - Academy 3
13.12. London, UK - Underworld
14.12. Chester, UK - The Live Rooms
15.12. Swansea, UK - Sin City
16.12. Bournemouth, UK - Anvil
17.12. Norwich, UK - Waterfront

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