Santa Cruz's Debut Holds Limitations To Promising Potential
The message may be unclear but you get the gist as the shred-heavy quartet once again tear down the doors of the daily monotony which is your life, to introduce a little anarchy into the system with their second self titled release, ‘Santa Cruz’.
An imbalance of technique seems to have unfortunately found a comfortable seat within their new album. With metaphorical middle fingers flung in your face, the decidedly weak lyrics seem to rally no spark of radical uproar to which the band apparently want to encourage in their music but the instrumental skill among these musicians is unquestionable when you find yourself scrambling the ground for anything earthed to clutch on to for dear life as the saying, ‘Shred till you drop’, is personified to what could very well be a dictionary definition.
Each song on the ten track collection seems to delve into various subgenres of metal. A flowing set-rhythm of speed with a mathcore/groove underline, progressive ink drops dashing sections and of course a thick splash of glam (with long hair and a blend of studded belts, wristbands and thick black clothing to meet the stereotypical attire requirements of such a title).
In some situations however, the strength of the musical aspect can be somewhat dampened if there is not a strong vocal presence to associate it with and convey a well-written message or tale to tell. Regrettably this seems to be the case for these rock embellishing aficionados. Although tracks such as the intense anthems, ‘Can you feel the rain’ and ‘Wasted and Wounded’ are not examples of this observation, (being that they are two well written songs with a vocal range that does not sound under strain and contemporary lyrics that speak to the younger generation), the remainder of the selection all contain what feels like forced nasal singing and words which lose their resonance with the listener almost immediately.
It seems that the Helsinki-based group of four may have exactly what they need in terms of instrumental composition, but when it comes to lyrical structure and knowing a vocal range, they have a lot of vocal chords to tighten.
To find out more about Santa Cruz click here.
To visit the Santa Cruz Facebook page click here.
Words by Nathan Roach