Santa Cruz - Bad Blood Rising album review

Finnish hard rockers fail to fulfil their classic remit

Cover art for Santa Cruz - Bad Blood Rising album

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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.

Dom Lawson

Dom Lawson has been writing for Metal Hammer and Prog for over 14 years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He also contributes to The Guardian, Classic Rock, Bravewords and Blabbermouth and has previously written for Kerrang! magazine in the mid-2000s.