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Santa Cruz – ‘The Return of the Kings’

M-Theory Audio
Reckless Love, Crazy Lixx, Dust Bowl Jokies, Shiraz Lane, Hardcore Superstar, Sister
Release Date
August 26, 2022
M-Theory Audio
Glam Metal/Hard Rock/Metalcore

“party on Garth”, “party on Wayne”. Any rocker worth their salt should at least be familiar with ‘Wayne’s World’ and its good time, happy vibes. This party atmosphere does transpose into bands and one band which have always lived that Sunset Strip lifestyle are Santa Cruz and this year has the band returning with not only another new line-up but also a new album ‘The Return of the Kings’.

                Well, the first thing to note with ‘The Return…’ is that from the off it would seem that the band have been dabbling with steroids as their testosterone is through the roof with a one-two punch which sees the band more bulked up than Kane Roberts. The opening tracks of ‘Here Comes the Revolution’ and ‘Take Me to America’ hit the listener like a sucker punch, there’s no elements of that good time glam metal or hard rock, instead it’s a beasting of groove/metalcore that let’s face it, is the sound of a different band. Yet, before too long, normal service is resumed and Santa Cruz begin to do what they’re good at with tracks such as ‘Under the Gun’, ‘1000 Cigarettes’ and ‘Disarm Me’ have that Santa Cruz vibe able to appeal to the likes of Reckless Love, Crazy Lixx and Shiraz Lane.

                However, ‘The Return…’ is a disjointed album, from that groove/metalcore sound, through classic Santa Cruz to almost irritating pop/punk at the close, it is a difficult album to thoroughly enjoy. Yes, there is something here for everyone, but that is not necessarily a good thing and Santa Cruz could do with just picking one sound and going for it because it’ll be better than ‘The Return…’ which has the listener reaching for the skip button on a regular basis.

"a disjointed album coupled with some excellent tracks"

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