August 23, 2021

We now come to the second album by the Swedish melodic rock band Cruzh which comes after a gap of 5 years since the eponymous debut came out in 2016. The band was put together by former members of the Swedish Glam Rock band TrashQueens and initially featured the trio of Anton Joensson (guitar), Dennis Butabi Borg (bass) and Tony Andersson (lead vocals and keyboards) with several guests brought in to complete the band’s sound including Erik Wiss playing piano on several of the tracks and Louisian Boltner on drums. There have been several changes over the years with Tony Anderson leaving the band to be replaced by Alex Waghorn on vocals, a full time drummer has come into the band in Matt Silver and Eric Wiss has again been retained to supply keyboards and piano.

The first album drew comparisons with the usual AOR/melodic rock bands in Toto, Def Leppard and Europe and most definitely Brian Adams which meant that they had a cultured and very slick delivery plus the skills, musicianship and song writing to back it all up. The intervening years has seen the band hone its talents and skillset with Tropical Thunder being another ambitious and perfectly delivered work of art and a melodic rock album to savour. There is a slightly harder edge to this album but all of the expected hooks and melodies remain in place with the material again being very radio friendly and somewhat similar to the glossy offerings of Asia. Again, the sound is perfectly pitched for that important transatlantic sound that is so integral to the success of any melodic rock band plus they have all the chops to back it all up. Alex Waghorn has settled perfectly into the front mans role and he has the usual perfectly pitched and powerful voice that seems to come as second nature to all Swedish vocalists. Once more, Anton Joensson shines with his fluid and dreamy guitar work with the perfectly matched rhythm section giving the material the just the right amount of power to drive it ever onwards.

The album is a pleasing mixture of power ballads and the expected up-tempo rockers that will help cement the bands place as a melodic rock band that always delivers a quality product. There are so many new AOR bands around these days and it is often difficult to keep on top of them all but Cruzh is a name that is heading to the top of the list and you really are urged to check out this very fine melodic rock album.

Tropical Thunder track list

  1. Tropical Thunder (3:18)
  2. We Go Together (4:05)
  3. Turn Back Time (3:36)
  4. Are You Ready? (4:12)
  5. Cady (4:18)
  6. New York Nights (4:38)
  7. All You Need (4:01)
  8. Line In The Sand (5:25)
  9. Moonshine Bayou (4:11)
  10. Paralyzed (4:06)
  11. N.R.J.C. (4:43)