"The Return of the Kings" (M-Theory Audio; 2022)
Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton
I really like Santa Cruz and their "The Return of the Kings." Well, most of it.
The 11 tracks on this CD are filled with razor-sharp guitar, edgy vocals and lyrics and a powerful rhythm section that's just about as tight as it gets. The shiny production helps keep the sound clean as well. "Disarm," however, seems like it was designed to be a radio hit with its soft, melodic rock ballad sound and it's my least favorite track here. Give me the edgy, harder shit like … well, like virtually everything else on the album (except, maybe, "1000 Cigarettes" and "Would You Believe It").
My favorite tracks are "Under the Gun" with its barbwire guitars and raw-throat vocals, the swirling rock'n'roll sound of "Standing My Ground" and the fiery "10 Shots."
A solid rocker throughout, with a trio of ballad-types thrown in for good measure (or bad measure, depending on your taste in such things), "The Return of the Kings" is definitely worth a listen. Or two. Maybe even more.
For more information, check out https://www.santacruzbandofficial.com/.
A classic. This record will kick your ass.
Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.
So-so. You've heard better.
Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.
Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.
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