December 12, 2020

Zoli Téglás who may already be known to you as the former long time singer with Ignite, a California based melodic hardcore band. He is also a Hollywood actor having secured parts in several films of which probably the most high profile is Terminator: Dark Fate. In his spare time he is also an activist for animal rights and environmental protection and he even owns his own non profit Pelican Rescue Team and I bet there aren’t too many who can put that on their CV! Born in Hungary, it seems that rock and roll was his escape route as he grew up on a diet of Led Zeppelin, The Who, Boston and Journey and always wanted to make it in the rock world as well as championing the rights of the working man. So, in other words, our Zoli Téglás is very much a man of the people.

Téglás has brought in a talented group of musicians to help fulfil his dream with Téglás supplying the vocals and Peter Lukacs on lead guitar, Reinder Oldenburger on rhythm guitar with Daniel Szebenyi on keyboards and bass but there is no mention of a drummer at all although drums are very much in the background so could even be programmed. Together, they have produced a rather commercial and mainstream hard rock album rather similar in style and delivery to bands like Alter Bridge and Nickelback.

The music is played with style and plenty of gusto and is mainly the upbeat life affirming rock albeit with something of a harder edge. It’s possible that you may have already heard some of the material as the label has so far released four singles from the album but I’m not sure what impact these will have had as the singles market is something of a mystery to us all now. I suppose time will tell if Téglás is a singer who acts or an actor who sings but he has a very good voice so this is not a mere cash in project and his career with Ignite would already suggest that he sees himself primarily as a musician.

It seems that a fair number of the songs were recorded back in Hungary at his grandmother’s house to give something of an atmosphere to the proceedings and I like the fact that he is no diva as he took on board many of the comments and suggestions of his band mates, no sign of an ego here at all. The songs are clever, upbeat and, in the main, radio friendly but there are a couple on which the band crank up the action and these show a heavier side to band and they do these very well too. The lyrics are jaunty and inviting and you have to smile when listening to the track Vampire, great fun.

This is another album that burrows its way into your subconscious as some of the choruses have ways of continually coming back into your brain, I just cannot seem to get the refrain from Budapest My Love out of my head which shows just how well these songs are written. The CD also features three extended versions of some of the songs but these were held back from review downloads which seems a strange thing to do so no comment can be made on what these add to the album. If you like the direct and immediate rock styling’s of bands like Alter Bridge then there is much here for you to enjoy with neat songs, some superb guitar work and a hard working and attractive vocalist.

Santa Monica track list

  1. Bound (2:59)
  2. A Separate Peace (3:49)
  3. Death or Liberty (3:17)
  4. Like a Lady (5:59)
  5. Santa Monica (3:39)
  6. Budapest My Love (5:09)
  7. Hold Me (4:29)
  8. Angels Wings (4:30)
  9. Vampire (4:19)
  10. Christina (4:19)
  11. There Is a Light That Never Goes Out (4:18)