Album review: CRUZH – Tropical Thunder

CRUZH - Tropical Thunder

Frontiers [Release date 06.08.21]

Cruzh is back with a new vocalist, Alex Waghorn, in a belated follow-up to 2016’s self-titled debut. Waghorn joined Cruzh in 2019 when the band released an acoustic version of ‘Aim For The Head’. Now, Waghorn, along with Dennis Butabi Borg, Anton Joensson and Matt Silver, unleash the band’s long awaited second album.

It is definitely an album that improves as it goes on, as the opening trio of songs are okay but very similar to any number of Scandinavian melodic rock bands. They start to hit their stride on track four, the Def Leppard sounding ‘Are You Ready’. The next song, ‘Cady’, is one of those simple, yet effective ballads beloved of the melodic rock/AOR scene. Alex Waghorn certainly earns his supper on this one and is a better fit to the band’s sound.

Plenty of keys to be enjoyed throughout the album, be it the stabbing synths on ‘All You Need’ or the lush keys backing ‘Line In The Sand’ (another song with a distinct Def Leppard feel about it).

‘Paralyzed’ is a bit of a melodic rock beast with lashings of keys, guitar, pounding rhythm and a chorus that hits the mark after just one play. More of this type of song please lads!

‘N.R.J.C.’ ends the album and it is a different beast, going down the acoustic route – liking the percussion and vocals on this one.

Much more enjoyable than their debut album (which I have hardly played since). They have found a much more suitable vocalist in Alex Waghorn. Whether they have enough to get them noticed above the mass of bands out there is debatable, however, this is a good second album and I do think they have it in them to produce a ‘must hear’ third album. Until then, crank this one up and enjoy its uplifting sounds. ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

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