Santa Cruz - Bad Blood Rising album review

Fearsome Finns with a soft underbelly

Cover art for Santa Cruz - Bad Blood Rising album

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Three albums in and Helsinki’s Santa Cruz are beginning to stray from their template. 2013’s Screaming For Adrenaline and its self-titled successor established them as turbo-charged Skid Row acolytes with a penchant for scuzzy, soaring guitars and stomp-along choruses. This time around, the near-title-track Young Blood Rising, the self-explanatory Fire Running Through Our Veins and Pure Fucking Adrenaline, plus the anthemic Voice Of The New Generation re-state their case, while Johnny Cruz’s dazzling guitarwork on River Phoenix is the sound of a man who’s as good as he thinks he is.

But, these Finns are not entirely what they used to be. Breathe opens with some nifty whistling before Archie Cruz rasps over a pretty melody, strings and choral voices. Get Me Out Of California is better still: a scarf-waving ballad, which explodes into no-holds-barred frenzy. It’s the song of their career and it’s the song that might make their career.

John Aizlewood

As well as Classic Rock, John Aizlewood currently writes for The Times, The Radio Times, The Sunday Times, The i Newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph and Mojo amongst others.  He’s written four books and appears on television quite often. He once sang with Iron Maiden at a football stadium in Brazil: he wasn’t asked back. He’s still not sure whether Enver Hoxha killed Mehmet Shehu…