80's, Easy-Listening, Happy
""Tropical Thunder" takes the listener back several decades with pleasure, but without Cruzh succeeding in asserting his personality enough."
LOLOCELTIC (12.10.2021)  
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After an eponymous album (2016) entirely dedicated to the AOR gods, the Swedes of Cruzh have opted for a change of frontman by recruiting Alex Waghorn (Reach) instead of Tony Andersson. The latter also holding the keyboards, the line-up is strongly renewed with the arrival of Matt Silver behind the drums while the producer Erik Wiss (Gathering Of Kings) also ensures, as a guest, the instrument abandoned by the former singer. "Tropical Thunder" arrives on the turntables of the fans five years after its elder, preceded by interviews in which Anton Joensson and Dennis Butabi Borg assert the will of the quartet to strengthen its play and to highlight the guitars.

And it is true that when listening to the eponymous title, which opens the hostilities with its sharp riff and its catchy chorus, the energy is well present reminding H.E.A.T.. It will be joined later in this spirit by a 'Moonshine Bayou' with sleaze/glam effluences mixed with a discreet Hammond organ. The single 'We Go Together', an anthem made for live, and the powerful 'Are You Ready?' seem to be tracks forgotten by Def Leppard during the "Hysteria" sessions. It's not original, but the tribute to the glorious bands of the 80's is well done and the production is up to it.

The rest of the album plunges greedily into a good AOR which highlights the keyboards. The quartet clearly takes its influences from Danger Danger ('Turn Back Time') or from a mix of Bon Jovi and Tobruk ('New York Nights'). When the tempo slows down, he can become dark and offer a surprising acceleration on his solo on 'Line In The Sand'. As for the two ballads of service, they look like titles heard a thousand times during the 80's, even if a bass solo manages to give a bit of personality to the last of them.

Even if it's well-built and very nice, "Tropical Thunder" still lacks a lot of personality and Cruzh seems to hesitate between melodic hard rock and AOR. It offers a pleasant moment and takes the listener back several decades with pleasure and a bit of melancholy. But this is not enough to allow Cruzh to extract themselves from the mass of combos currently working in the genre. It remains for the Swedes to assert their identity and to choose a more determined stylistic direction if they want to pass to a higher level that their talent will undoubtedly allow them to reach if they give themselves the means.

More informations on

01. Tropical Thunder - 3:17
02. We Go Together - 4:05
03. Turn Back Time - 3:35
04. Are You Ready? - 4:11
05. Cady - 4:18
06. New York Nights - 4:37
07. All You Need - 4:00
08. Line In The Sand - 5:25
09. Moonshine Bayou - 4:11
10. Paralyzed - 4:05
11. N.r.j.c. - 4:43

Alex Waghorn: Chant
Anton Joensson: Guitares
Dennis Butabi Borg: Basse
Matt Silver: Batterie
Erik Wiss: Claviers / Invité / Piano
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