CRUZH – Tropical Thunder (2021)
Swedes CRUZH are back with a new vocalist, Alex Waghorn, and a new album, “Tropical Thunder”, on Frontiers Music. Waghorn was first introduced to Cruzh fans in 2019 with the release of an acoustic version of the song “Aim For The Head”. Now, Waghorn, along with Dennis Butabi Borg, Anton Joensson, and Matt Silver, are at long last ready to unleash the band’s long-awaited second album.
Melodic rock fans will not be disappointed with the cavalcade of melodies, hooks, and catchy songs on display on “Tropical Thunder”. Cruzh was put together after the demise of Swedish glam rockers TrashQueen, in which both Anton Joensson and Dennis Butabi Borg played. They shared a love for melodic rock and AOR and joined forces with Tony Andersson, who previously worked as a studio musician on the never released TrashQueen record.
In March 2013, Cruzh was officially announced. An image of the silhouette of the three band members, the debut song “In a Blink of an Eye,” information that the band was Swedish, and the text “Get ready for the Cruzh” was all that was revealed.
The song quickly spread and in May of that year came the sequel, “Stay”. Meanwhile, the band, still ‘incognito’, shared various clues on social media regarding their identity and location. In the fall of 2013, Cruzh “unmasked” and released the “Hard To Get” EP, the first of two very well-received self-produced demos.
“Hard To Get” and its successor, the darker “Aim For The Head” got great reviews and by late spring of 2015, just when Cruzh was about to release a new EP, they were approached by Frontiers Music Srl who wanted to sign the band to a deal.
Cruzh started the album recording process by the end of summer 2015 and their self-titled debut was released in 2016 to rave reviews from the melodic rock community.
After introducing new vocalist Alex Waghorn to the public via an acoustic version of their track ‘Aim For The Head’ in 2019, the band spent 2020 working on their second album, “Tropical Thunder”.
Now, in 2021, the long wait for a follow-up album from Cruzh is over.
And this is quite simple to review; if you like your ’80s AOR flavored music served in a simple, melodic, ear-candy way, “Tropical Thunder” is for you.
The title track, ‘Turn Back Time’, and ‘Are You Ready’, are among the heavier / hard rocking songs Cruzh ever recorded. The Scandinavians offer a ballad by the name of “Cady“ that would have been a major hit in the golden age of MTV for sure. And then there is the mighty “We Go Together“, anthemic, and ready for the arenas.
The rocker ‘All You Need’ is plenty of lovable harmonies, then more AORish sounds comes with ‘Line In The Sand’, again riding upon guitar and vocal harmony over some stylish synths.
A flawless album which perfectly meets the requirements of those who love the current Scandi AOR/melodic rock sound in the vein of H.E.A.T. or CREYE, with a nod to the glorious days for the genre.
We love this type of stuff.
01 – Tropical Thunder
02 – We Go Together
03 – Turn Back Time
04 – Are You Ready
05 – Cady
06 – New York Nights
07 – All You Need
08 – Line in the Sand
09 – Moonshine Bayou
10 – Paralyzed
11 – N.R.J.C
Alex Waghorn: lead & backing vocals
Anton Joensson: lead & rhythm guitars, acoustic guitars, backing vocals
Dennis Butabi Borg: bass, backing vocals
Matt Silver: drums & percussion, backing vocals
Erik Wiss: keyboards & piano