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De La Cruz: Street Level

Remember back in the mid/late 1980's when bands like Skid Row, Dokken, and Ratt brought guitar mastery and plenty of attitude to their brand of 'hair metal', proving that this form of hard rock could also have a lot of balls yet still be accessible? Well, Australia's De La Cruz certainly do, and their latest release for Frontiers Records Street Level will no doubt take you back to that magical time.

The band, who are comprised of Roxxi Catalano (Lead Vocals), Casey Jones (Guitar), Rory Joy (Guitar), Grant Daniell (Bass), and Lacey Lane (Drums), have done a very good job of putting together catchy hard rock tunes here with loads of acrobatic guitar work as well as that '80s sleaze factor. At times you'll almost think that some of these tunes could have been leftovers from any of Skid Row's first few releases, as Catalano sounds very much like Sebastian Bach and the songs themselves have a similar attitude. Tracks like "Turn It Up", "Legions of Love" (with its anthemic Winger styled chorus), the raunchy "Cherry Bomb", and the headbanging title cut all deliver hooks and guitar pyrotechnics that will instantly take you back in time. Both Jones & Joy favor the flashy style of players like George Lynch, Warren DeMartini, and Reb Beach, laying down no shortage of riffs and blazing leads on tunes like "Worlds Collide" and the ripping, raunchy "S.E.X.", which are sure to get the listener headbanging and playing air guitar.

By no means is Street Level meant to be taken too seriously; obviously there's nothing groundbreaking going on here, and it can certainly be said that this album is arriving 25 years too late to the dance, but you have to give kudos to De La Cruz for putting together a fun collection of rockin' tunes here that will instantly take you back to a bygone era. Get out the hairspray, denim & leather and enjoy!

Track Listing
1. Street Level
2. Girls Go Wild
3. Turn It Up
4. Legions Of Love
5. Gimme Love
6. Cherry Bomb
7. Dreaming
8. Invincible
9. Worlds Collide
10. S.E.X.
11. Set The Night
12. Shine

Added: August 17th 2013
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1914
Language: english

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De La Cruz: Street Level
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2013-08-16 19:50:11
My Score:

After a well received debut EP, the first full length effort from Aussie melodic rockers De La Cruz hits the street through Frontiers Records, immediately letting you know that somebody out there is taking this band seriously. Mining and aping the 80s for their sound, DLC remind of everyone from Lillian Axe and Babylon AD to Whitesnake or Skid Row, although most of all it is Pyromania and Hysteria era Def Leppard that springs to mind across the twelve tracks served up on Street Level. It is a cool mix and one this surprisingly accomplished young act pulls off with showmanship and pizzazz. These five guys know they are not reinventing the rockin' rollin' wheel here, so instead they've set about hammering through tried and tested themes with a real verve and sense of purpose. It has to be said that the results are damn impressive.

The title track rips into life, singer Roxxi Catalano landing convincingly between Sebastian Bach (Skid Row) and Ron Taylor (Lillian Axe), while the groove is laid down thick behind him. However right from the off through a barrage of fret flicks and plectrum tricks it is guitarist Casey Jones who steals the show, his pyrotechnics setting light to all of the up-tempo tracks. Yes rhythm guitarist Rory Joy backs him ably, but a quick squint through the credits finds Casey behind co-writing all the songs, production, recording, mixing, artwork and photography, which would be all well and good if he hadn't already departed the Street Level De La Cruz operate on (although his replacement Stevie Strange has now been announced)! So while "Turn It Up" bounces with energy, "Girls Go Wild" tries to out Motley da Crue and "Cherry Bomb" explodes with ferocity, the question that has to be asked is where do De La Cruz go without the ace in their deck? However in the mean time revel in the Mutt Lange/Leppard gang vocals of "Dreaming", the stolen Whitesnake "Still Of The Night" intro to "Invincible" and the big dumb shout of "S.E.X." which could be any sunset strip band from yesteryear, and let the future take care of itself.

De La Cruz have served up a surprisingly sassy and sizzling slice of sleazy melody for us to savour. Here's to album number two...hopefully!

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