Crush 40 - Crush 40

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Frontiers
Catalog Number: FRCD 127
Format: CD
Total Time: 44:13:00

Crush 40 is the project from Axel Rudi Pell and Hardline lead singer Johnny Gioeli, and San Francisco-based Japanese guitar player Jun Senoue. Originally Jun was set to record soundtracks for Sega games, but in between he also recorded some songs with Gioeli on vocals, which was released under the Sons of Angels moniker in Japan in 2000. Crush 40 is in many ways the same album, but without the instrumentals, and 3 new songs.

Crush 40 play melodic hard rock, somewhere between early XYZ and Burning Rain. Gioeli is, as always, at the top of his game and Jun Senoue delivers a stellar performance showing he's a very competent rhythm and solo guitarist. Those into riff-based melodic hard rock will certainly find this stuff appealing. Out of the 11 songs all are up-tempo rockers with one exception. Although there are no true ballads which is kind of unusual for music of this genre, there is one semi-ballad, the beautiful closing track "Watch Me Fly."

Of the new tracks included, one is sung by Tony Harnell (TNT, Westworld) and another by Ted Poley (Danger Danger, Poley/Pichler, etc.). I was very eager to hear these songs but in many ways "Escape From The City," sung by Ted Poley, was rather boring, not because of Poley, who does a decent job, although I've heard him better, but because the song itself is very average and the production was notably weaker. On the other hand "It Doesn't Matter' with Harnell on vocals is excellent. He's got a much better production and he's got so much more power, range and punch in his voice which makes Poley's performance pale in comparison.

The production does vary from song to song, but overall the production is very tight, powerful and crisp sounding. As far as the song writing goes the combination Gioeli/Senoue is a winner and I certainly hope to hear more from them in the future.

There are only a couple of average tracks to be found, the rest is well above average, which makes Crush 40 a fresh breath in a struggling genre that sees too many mediocre releases these days. If you are into Hardline, Burning Rain, XYZ etc. this release is well worth checking out.

Similar To: Hardline, Burning Rain, XYZ

[This review originally appeared April 2003 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]
Live And Learn / Revvin Up / Into The Wind / In The Land / Watch Me Fly / Fuel Me / Dangerous Ground / All The Way / Open Your Heart / It Doesn't Matter / Escape From The City

Johnny Gioeli - vocals
Jun Senoue -guitar
Tony Harnell -vocals
Ted Poley -vocals
Naoto Shibata - bass
Hirotsugu Homma - drums

Crush 40 (2003)

Genre: Melodic Rock-AOR

Origin VA

Added: December 8th 2004
Reviewer: Bjørnar Bevolden
Artist website:
Hits: 923
Language: english


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