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De La Cruz: Street Level
De La Cruz Street Level Album Review

De La Cruz: Street Level

Melodic Hard Rock/Metal

Somebody's been listening to their parents vinyl LPs. You know the ones: straight from the Eighties, especially from the Sunset Boulevard sleaze rock side of things. That's what Australia based guitarist Casey Jones and New Zealand vocalist Roxxi Catalano had in my mind from the start.

De La Cruz:: Cherry Bomb (Official Video).

And they basically nail the genre with their first full length album, Street Level. The band and the tunes capture both punk rawness and catchy melodic hard rock that made the whole glam/sleaze angel work (at least for a short period of time, back in the day.) Roxxi can deliver with equal amounts of punk sneer and melodic smoothness. He can scream it out as on the title cut or tone it down as on Dreaming.

The music, essentially, is classic rock, sometimes with metal edge, with solid melody, hooks in lyrics and arrangement, and bristling guitar solos, all working the sleaze angle. Casey Jones and Rory Joy are no sloucesh on the six string. Both can tear it up; it's one of the great strengths of the album. Mostly, the sound is big, basically arena-sized, rock anthems, but with only one ballad, Shine, at the end.

Perhaps the one thing a listener will notice immediately is their familiarity with DLC's chosen style. Street Level so easily mimics 1987 that your ears will think you're there. Alternatively, this could be the pebble in their Converse Allstars: they're almost too immaculate and precise in their original invention. However, if it were not for their mastery of the genre and their originality, back in the day, they might been seen as another cookie-cutter sleaze band. In the present day, they're contenders and could give a beat down to any American or Scandinavian band doing the same. Recommended. - New fiction, crime fiction by Craig Hartranft

In Short

With Street Level, De La Cruz are going for, without apology, Eighties melodic hard rock straight from the sleaze side of the Sunset Street. They basically nail it. Period.

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