Cruzh – “Cruzh” (Frontiers Music)
Oh wow, if you’re a fan of those crooning, heartbreaking melodies of 80s AOR, then Cruzh is the one for you! I mean, I don’t even know how to pronounce their name but who cares cos this Swedish band have got it in bunches like they were the rock offspring of Asia, Def Leppard, Toto, Bryan Adams and probably every other 80s AOR luminary!! Formed from the ashes of glam rockers TrashQueen, they were initially called CruSh but the identities of the trio of Anton Joensson (guitars), Dennis Butabi Borg (bass) and studio musician Tony Andersson (vocals, keyboards) were kept secret until they ‘unmasked’ for the release of their 2013 EP “Hard To Get”. Frankly I think that Frontiers Music did them the biggest favor in jumping straight to a full blown release because their talent is unbelievable and absolutely no hype is needed cos the music simply sells itself! This album will make you cry, love and no doubt rock to gems like ‘First Cruzh’, ‘You’ and ‘Set Me Free’. This is a stunning release throughout, reflective of superior composing skill and passionate musicianship in every aspect combined to produce authentic 80s sounding classics with plenty of variety from rockers to ballads to crooners but all hugely catchy and skillfully brought into modernity by this talented trio – in fact it brought back so many memories for me (and I don’t even regard myself as an AOR fan!) that words fail me other than to say it’s the best debut of 2016!