Since I’m a huge Santa Cruz fan and have been listening their albums religiously, needless to say, I was pretty sad when it was announced that all members except Archie were leaving the band.
After taking some time off and let’s say, ”recharging his batteries” Archie decided that it was time to release new album. ”This is way too soon and even more too forced…” was my first thought (probably because he was the only guy left in the band but we’ll get back to that later on).
So, Santa Cruz are back… well, kinda. All instruments were recorded by Archie himself though it’d be better if they weren’t. When you hear the drums you’ll get what I’m talking about.
First single ”Changing of Seasons” was kinda disappointing especially that cringy scream part and it left me being sceptical about what’s going to happen with this album.
Few months ago I’ve heard a preview of ”Bang Bang (My Worst Enemy)” on ESP promo video Archie did and it sounded promising. Now, after hearing the full song my thoughts are that the song is good but could be better.
As it was announced, ”Katharsis” is full of surprises. I could even hear U2 mixed with Andy Black influences on another single, ”Into The War”.
”I Want You to Mean It” is a ballad and probably one of the best songs here though again, drums ruin the mood.
Among other surprising influences is kinda Marilyn Manson-like riff on ”True Believer”.
My favourite on this album is ”Tell Me Why” even though it’s main riff might be a rip off of Wildstreet’s ”Easy Does It”. It’s simple, catchy and melodic.
Not quite sure if versatility on this album is a good thing or not… Influences range from above mentioned U2 and Andy Black, Marilyn Manson through 80’s melodic rock, glam, modern arena rock to Bullet From My Valentine’s Gravity era songs.
Produced by Kane Churko (Five Finger Death Punch, Ozzy Osbourne, Papa Roach) I expected quite a lot more because let’s face it, those are some pretty big names. On some songs it sounds ok but mostly it sounds a bit too much.
While Archie is indeed exceptional guitar player it can’t be heard on this album and judging by what I heard he is not that great songwriter. Now, more than ever is clear who was mastermind behind all the previous albums (Johnny, duh, with the incredible rhythm section which consisted of Middy on bass guitar and Tazzy on drums).
Overall, I’m disappointed but not surprised.
Oh, and did I mention Cindy Lauper’s ”Time After Time” cover?