As an independent review site, we get a plethora of emails from artists looking for promotion for their releases or projects. Every now and then, the email isn’t just self promotion and unnecessary superlatives, but instead a genuine window into a group of musicians that clearly love making music and are enjoying sharpening their craft through local concerts and working in the studio. This is exactly what happened with CRUISER, a Punk/Rock band from London, UK. 

Their positive attitude and approach was enough for me to decide to write the article, so I was pleased to start the EP with a track that seemed to merge the sounds of some of my favourite contemporary rock artists into one. The intro of MONSTERS, the opening track, is reminiscent of artists like Kings of Leon in the driven bass and individual guitar tracks, building to a chorus that had similar tones to Dirty Pretty Things (a band derived from the split-up of The Libertines). This sharing of sound in guitar tone and track construction remains, with the instrument breakdown towards the end feeling very familiar too - without drawing too much direct comparison! The opening track ends with a laugh in the back of a take, continuing and reinforcing the belief that this is a group of musicians truly enjoying themselves above all else. 

‘ROCKY’ leans more towards a typical Rock and Roll track, giving nods to classic rock bands from the 70s and 80s. CRUISER ensures there’s enough dynamic variance to keep the song interesting and engaging, with guitar riffs building throughout and multiple vocal tracks achieving different sounds. The track feels abrupt in reaching the end, however I can’t help but applaud the decision to end it where it wants to end, instead of falling into the trap of adding multiple choruses/breakdowns. 

Throughout the EP, the vocals feel very raw - a positive for any Pop/Punk artist, however frequently sit a little lower in the mix than I would recommend. Vocally, the tone matches artists like The Clash, however this comparison may expose a slight weakness in where the vocals sit on this EP. The rest of the recording is put together perfectly - there’s an impurity that I believe is required for a raw and angstier genre, so a possible small area that can be addressed for their next release!

After three very similar tracks comes ‘THE EAST’, a change of pace serving to vary the dynamic palette, still remaining Punk/Rock, but taking a more anthemic approach. Again, the vocals sometimes fall behind the rest of the instrumental track, however they sit more exposed through the slightly calmer musical accompaniment. The performance is strong, and the tone of the singer is perfectly suited for the song they’re creating. From a technical production aspect, the drums occupy a lot of the higher frequencies in this track, particularly in the earlier stages of the song, however overall the sound is a brilliant variance of their consistent sound throughout the EP.

The final track, ‘GODZILLA’, returns to their big soundscape, bringing energy to finish the EP. There’s an untidiness to the track, however this almost adds to the Pop/Punk sound they’re creating. The track experiences plenty of dips and changes in dynamics, and experiments with different vocal effects in backing vocals that add a really enjoyable layer. The track feels nostalgic, while offering a fresh take on a genre that has been tackled by many before. 

Stepping back and looking at the project from a bigger picture, I struggle to put my finger on exactly what sets this band apart from the rest. I’ve heard records with better production, and artists with a more polished sound and more defined identity, but there’s something about CRUISER’s undeniable passion and genuine love for the craft, combined with their unapologetically effortless composition style, that makes them one of my favourite up-and-coming artists I’ve found. Sure, there’s areas that could be improved. But ultimately these impurities are the very reason the band feels so relatable and genuine. I absolutely recommend checking out this band and watching how they develop, because I can see them making absolute waves in the british Indie Rock scene.