SANTERS - RACING TIME (1982, READY)
Rick Santers - vocals, guitars
Rick Lazaroff - bass
Mark Santers - drums
Somewhat of an insitiution in their native Canada in the early 80's was this three piece outfit, led by by Rick Santers, with his brother Mark occupying the drum stool. In 2006 it would be fair to assume Santers are long since forgotten, but this is a noteworthy effort that reputedly was the bands greatest achievement. With a sound halfway between hard rock and AOR, it's hard to pin the bands real direction down, one moment coming off as contenders to Foreigner
the next attacking with the gusto of AC/DC
. This was the bands second album, 1981's 'Shot Down In Flames' the initial breakthrough. With the likes of Triumph
etc all vying for supremacy in this rich period of Canadian melodic rock, Santers could easily have gotten lost in the shuffle but managed to make quite a name for themselves.
'Mistreatin' Heart' is the pick of the album, AOR ready without keyboards dominating the mix. Santers is a cross between Don Dokken
and Lou Gramm
vocally and the sound is heavier than many of their contemporaries, Rick Santers seeing to that with some hard riffs. Metal obviously ran through Santers veins, judging from 'Mystical Eyes' and its Zeppelin 'Kashmir' attempts, epic galloping riffs and stabbing keyboards. Shifting from one scene to the other, 'Still I Am' adds acoustic guitar work in, with Santers now recalling Brian Howe
before his time even began! The mood quickly changes to the bold AC/DC
'ish hard rock of 'Dog Without A Home', which could share a home itself with April Wine
. I feel Santers vocals don't fit this style, lacking that hoarse edge needed to make it convincing. For the AOR lover 'Two Against The World' might be of some interest, first rate indeed and the direction the band should have pursued as a whole. 'Back Streets' is nothing less than stunning melodic rock, with heavy shades of Foreigner
and its nice to hear the keyboards unloaded during 'Winter Freeze'. The title track is fairly fast paced, with hints of Fortress
and typically harmonic early 80's vocals work from the band during a beautiful chorus.
A treat for the early 80's rock connisseur, should any of you be tempted to secure a copy which to my knowledge is readily available on CD. This was supposed to propel the band to the top but that never quite materialised and the band called it quits after a 1986's 'Top Secrecy'. Santers collaborated with Triumph
among others after the split and rightfully maintains the image of a minor guitar legend in his homeland. His wizadry is what adds the edge to 'Racing Time', despite the occasional sub par vocal work. Aside from that this remains a definite add to the ever growing collection!
01 Mistreatin' Heart
02 Mystical Eyes
03 Still I Am
04 Dog Without a Home
05 Road to Morocco
06 Two Against the World
07 Back Streets
08 Winter Freeze
09 Hard Time Lovin' You
10 Racing Time
11 You Turn Me On *bonus track (recorded live)
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