Santa Cruz - 'Screaming For Adrenaline'

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Santa Cruz - 'Screaming For Adrenaline'

Full of energy and swagger with songs concentrating thematically on sex, rock & roll and rebelling against the system.

Santa Cruz is a four piece Finnish band, started in 2007 by singer/guitarist Arttu Kuosmanen and guitarist Joonas Parkkonen (now known as Archie Cruz and Johnny Cruz respectively), who obviously have a love of 80's cliché ridden sleazy pop rock. Hard to believe that the 80's musical heyday was a good 25 years ago and judging by the band photos Santa Cruz must have still been soiling nappies at that time.

'Screaming For Adrenaline' is full of energy and swagger with songs concentrating thematically on sex, rock & roll and rebelling against the system, almost like a Scandinavian take on the sounds of the Sunset Strip, back when the guys wore more make-up than the girls. Brash, simplistic hooks and enthusiastic gang vocals fill the album, and some of the performances, mainly the duelling guitar solos and Archie's vocals, are impressive to say the least. If I have a criticism then it centres on the quality of the songs. There is too much emphasis on adolescent attitude. 'Aiming High' (an older song I believe) and 'Nothing Compares To You' stand out from the crowd as they have a style and song structure that has a little more maturity, without losing any of the high energy attack.

It seems every effort has been made to include as much profanity as possible and if I'm honest it just seems forced. Had I been 30 years younger this may have added to the appeal, but I think my 14 year old son found this more pleasurable than I did. Imagine the likes of Pretty Boy Floyd, Smashed Gladys and early Mötley Crüe blended together in a musical cocktail and 'Screaming For Adrenaline', 'Anthem For The Young 'n' Restless', 'Sweet Sensation' and 'Relentless Renegades' would be the result. Great songs are timeless but average ones can sometimes become prisoners of a certain time and place and that is the problem with albums like this. Not really my cup of tea anymore but I know plenty who will go for this CD in a big way, especially fans of Crash Diet, Reckless Love or Crazy Lixx.

The image is in place and a UK tour supporting Vega is on the cards. If they can reign in the unnecessary swearing and excess posturing and attitude and concentrate more on the song writing then I think we could be on to something of a winner.

Dave Bott

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