Cruzh – Cruzh (Frontiers)

Genre: Hair Metal/AOR

At their glossiest, candy-coated Swedes Cruzh don’t sound too dissimilar to an East Seventeen Christmas hit. Ballads Anything For You and seven-minute set closer Straight From My Heart are cheesier than a wedge of double Gloucester but that’s what makes this self-titled stunner so special.

Cruzh don’t pretend to be anything other than Leppard/Toto/Mr Big clones and their attention to hair metal detail is meticulous – even down to a fluffy 80s-styled drum sound that will have tub thumpers everywhere diving for cover.

Occasionally as risible as ultimate spoofsters Steel Panther but more often slicker than Reckless Love et al, theirs is an approach that encourages derision but demands respect. Cruzh are a class apart when it comes to crafting perfect pop rock and those who poke fun at the talented trio are no doubt hiding a secret hair metal habit.

Hard To Get sums it up best. It really is hard to get this good when reinventing the 80s AOR wheel is your primary objective. Cruzh might be just one in a dozen brilliant new bands to roll off Sweden’s soft rock production line in the last decade but they could be the best yet.

RUSHONROCK RATED: 10/10 Cruzhing Victory