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Santers - 'Shot Down In Flames - The Definitive Remasters' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/0d/a9/4b/3213_santersshotdowninflamesdefinitiveremasters_1359503303.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 29, 2013    
 
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Honest, basic rock and roll that shows little of their later AOR leanings.

Fresh from their long-awaited reformation and return to the UK at Firefest 2012, Canadian power-trio Santers are in the process of remastering their back catalogue, starting with this, their 1980 debut. Bassist Rick Lazaroff and brothers Rick and Mark Santers (guitars/vocals and drums/backing vocals respectively) were a pretty new band when they recorded this album, and with a limited budget and manager Robert Connolly in the production chair, the results were as good as could be expected.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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With a sound similar to fellow Torontonians Triumph, 'Shot Down In Flames' was honest, basic rock and roll that would show little of their later AOR leanings. Their cover of the Donnie Iris classic 'The Rapper' has always seemed like an odd opener to me despite its obvious charm and 'Crazy Ladies' isn't one of their better songs, but the more upbeat 'You Turn Me On' and the melodic 'Time After Time' have stood the test of time pretty well with Rick's tuneful vocals and some neat musicianship from all concerned. It was always the second side of the LP that did it for me, with the slowly building title track, the exuberant 'Caught In The Wind' and the well-written cut and thrust of 'Paths Of Heart' and 'Points Of Resistance' that started to point to what Santers were really capable of on their next album.

There are no bonus tracks here and the band have resisted the temptation to include the already available live versions of a couple of these songs, which is fine by me as the remaster adds a depth and clarity to the original studio tracks that belie their low-budget origins. The separation of the instruments is particularly striking, especially Lazaroff's superb bass work, which is worth a few listens on its own. As a precursor to their two real classics, the treatment afforded 'Shot Down In Flames' makes me even more keen to hear what they do with 'Racing Time' and 'Guitar Alley'.

Phil Ashcroft

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