SANTERS – Guitar Alley ; The Definitive Remasters Series (2019)
SANTERS, one of the very best bands that came out of Toronto in the early ’80s, finally are getting official remastered reissues of their albums. Few weeks ago appeared the remaster of their second LP (featured at 0dayrox as well as debut).
Now it’s time for Santers’s third effort “Guitar Alley”, produced by Triumph’s talented guitarist Rik Emmett, and as its title promises, it’s a guitar driven rockin’ album with a polished 1984’s sound.
Santers, comprised of brothers Rick and Mark Santers (guitar/vocals and drums/vocals respectively) and bassist Rick Lazaroff was founded in 1980. While Rick had by this time already gained a reputation as one of Toronto’s hottest young guitarists, Mark was enjoying similar notoriety as a drummer. They recruited bassist Rick Lazaroff after placing an ad in a local newspaper.
The three quickly became one of the hottest commodities on the scene, touring extensively for the next year and a half throughout Ontario, Quebec and the East-Central US. They found time to record demos of some songs Rick had written and entered “Time After Time” in a local radio station contest, and was featured on their compilation album later that year.
They were signed to Ready Records in 1981, releasing their debut LP that summer. Their stripped-down ‘melody-metal’ sound found success as well in small pockets across Europe, including France, Spain and The Netherlands.
The band began a rugged schedule touring the majority of Canada and the US for the next year, hooking up with some of rock’s biggest road shows, including Ozzy Osbourne and Scorpions.
Following a short break the band found themselves back at Toronto’s Phase One Studios working on the next album. As advance, an EP was released including some live tracks taped to showcase Santers’ hot sound on stage.
With a more melodic hard rock approach in the American / Canadian 1982-1983 stylings, 2nd full length “Racing Time“ increased Santers fan base at both sides of the Ocean.
Rock-guitar whiz Rick Santers shines brightly on this latest release by his self-named power trio. The trio comes up with a riff-riddled collection of high-energy tunes that are just as impressive as those on the previous LP.
Musically ‘Guitar Alley’ at times comes across as a slicked up steroid shot of Foreigner in the sonic department, and mid-Eighties Triumph. Rick does triple duty here in the singing, keyboards and guitar heroics on this album. His playing is fluid when you need a smooth bunch of 80s Hard Rock riffs with an ear towards an AOR single on “Can’t Shake You”.
Also to mention is the really good cover of Free’s classic ‘All Right Move’ where brother Mark plays some great drums fills while Lazaroff holds down the bottom end with the bass.
‘Guitar Alley’ was the last album from Santers in the ’80s, a shame because this band shoulda been huge. Rick shows himself to be an exciting and inventive player throughout, with precise rhythm guitars and swirling melodic solos to boot.
Emmett does his part putting the guitar at the forefront of the mix, and providing a polished production. In fact Triumph’s albums Thunder Seven or The Sports Of Kings are a good comparison to have an idea of how Santers sound on ‘Guitar Alley’. Add an Americanized touch ala Foreigner and you got it.
01 – Can’t Shake You (Remastered)
02 – Hotline (Remastered)
03 – High Risk (Remastered)
04 – Hate to Love You (Remastered)
05 – Too Young to Die (Remastered)
06 – Loa / Black Magic (Remastered)
07 – All Right Now (Remastered)
08 – Baby Blue (Remastered)
09 – Dreaming (Remastered)
Rick Santers – lead vocals, guitars, keyboards
Mark Santers – drums and percussion
Rick Lazaroff – bass, bass pedals
Produced by Rik Emmett