SANTA CRUZ – The Return of the Kings [physical CD +2] (2022) HQ *Exclusive*

SANTA CRUZ - The Return of the Kings [physical CD +2] (2022) HQ *Exclusive* - full

Helsinki, Finland’s hard rock / glam metal troop SANTA CRUZ returned into the scene this year with their new studio album “The Return of the Kings“. The new 2022 lineup of Santa Cruz – which sees Finnish frontman / guitarist and founding member Archie Cruz now joined by the talented Los Angeles-based trio of guitarist Jerry Jade (Bad Gvy), bassist Tommy Bradley (Revelry Gang), and drummer Randy McDemian (Abrahadabra Clothing) – returns with refreshed energy and rocking riffs & melodies to boot.
Archie Cruz adapted to the challenges of 2020 and 2021 by continuing to work on the music that would become “The Return of the Kings”. The new songs are hot, with the killer ‘street-level’ the band was known for, glamorous and dirty at the same time.
This CD version contains two bonus tracks – “Moonchild” and “Crossfire” – that were recorded in earlier sessions.

Opener ‘Here Comes the Revolution’ is a bruising, agressive hard rock like WASP on steroids, and while the chorus is modern ala Rob Zombie, the whole song takes you back to the Sunset Strip.
‘Take Me to America’ is sleazy, sleazy dark and menacing, and works very well. Then ‘Under the Gun’ is driven by a guitar riff circa Ozzy / Jake E. Lee, and you really enjoy the gang vocals and the dirsty chorus. Perhaps the best song on the album.

As said, next ‘Disarm Me’ completely changes direction for a sweet poppy midtempo melodic tune. It seems a completely different band, but the songs is very good, with nice harmonies.
‘Standing My Ground’ and especially ’10 Shots’ – a highlight for me – returns to classic glammy hard rock with an updated production. It must be said Archie Cruz recruited very talented new musicians, especially guitarist Jerry Jade serving some killer riffs and clean swirling solos.

SANTA CRUZ - The Return of the Kings [physical CD +2] back

It’s nice the see and hear Santa Cruz back with a new album. It’s varied, well composed & recorded, and the new guys in the band – all American – are excellent. The new songs rock hard, vibrant and energetic. The ‘experiment with modern rock’ at the end of the album fails in our opinion, but bravo for the guys for trying something different.
Highly Recommended


01 – Here Comes the Revolution
02 – Take Me to America
03 – Under the Gun
04 – Disarm Me
05 – Standing My Ground
06 – 10 Shots
07 – Another Round
08 – Gunshot
09 – 1000 Cigarettes
10 – Would You Believe It
11 – Stay
12 – Crossfire
13 – Moonchild

Vocals, guitar – Archie Cruz
Guitar, Backing Vocals – Jerry Jade (Bad Gvy)
Bass, Backing Vocals – Tommy Bradley (Revelry Gang)
Drums – Randy McDemian (Abrahadabra Clothing)



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1 Response

  1. Anonymous says:

    Couldn’t disagree more on the comment of the end of the album. Best tracks in my opinion.

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