Finnish glam-rockers Santa Cruz had been praised by Rolling Stone as ‘One of the Top 10 bands you need to know in 2017’ earlier this year in anticipation of their third full-length album Bad Blood Rising. Forming back in 2007 the band were initially inspired by the likes of Guns n Roses and Motley Crue. Over the last ten years, packed with relentless touring and two successful hard-rock records, Santa Cruz have taken their nostalgic sound and thrown in elements of modern metal, rock and punk in the 11 songs that make up their most musically ambitious venture yet.
While the lyrics throughout the record don’t stand-out as astounding or too thought-provoking they’re executed in a way that could easily get a crowd moving. Many of the tracks also feel like they’d fit perfectly in an action film, particularly the formidable ‘Voice of a Generation’ and ‘River Phoenix’, with wailing guitar solos and chanting vocals. ‘River Phoenix’ also stands out as very reminiscent of ‘You Give Love a Bad Name’ era Bon Jovi, which can only ever be a good thing.
‘Breathe’ and ‘Drag Me Out Of The Darkness’ act as a welcome change of pace in the midst of what is a relentless album. ‘Drag Me Out Of The Darkness’ is propelled by transcending guitar melodies and a huge chorus hook, while ‘Breathe’ strikes the opposite side of the spectrum as a delicate stripped back ballad.
All in all, Bad Blood Rising is simply packed with emotionally charged anthems. It feels like Santa Cruz have taken the makeup of 80s power rock and combined it effortlessly with today’s modern formula. The result is an album that will leave dancing around and wanting to rediscover the old records in your collection.