Santa Cruz - Bad Blood Rising album review

Finnish hard rockers fail to fulfil their classic remit

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On the surface, Santa Cruz are just another hard rock band with a taste for the pomp and bluster of the 80s. On closer inspection, they’re nowhere near that interesting. The Finns’ second album is so desperate to be regarded as a classic rock record that it very nearly succeeds through sheer audacity. Unfortunately, while the band are clearly under the impression that they are channelling the chart-busting über-confidence of Bon Jovi and Skid Row, Santa Cruz share far more musical DNA with the wet-lettuce end of alternative rock, with all the Disney Channel sugariness and dim-witted, grit-free emoting such an affiliation entails. Compare this to the life-affirming AOR bombast of H.E.A.T or the thrilling, radio-rock gloss of The Night Flight Orchestra and be instantly appalled that this exists at all. Classic rock, yerarse. This is horrible.