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Crush 40 is a Japanese-American Hard Rock duo. Best known for their work on the Sonic the Hedgehog video game series beginning with Sonic Adventure, Crush 40 consists of Jun Senoue, guitarist and composer who previously worked on Daytona USA, Victory Goal and numerous other Sega franchises, and Johnny Gioelli, the frontman of Hardline and vocalist for Axel Rudi Pell.

Their style has generally fallen under the Melodic Rock umbrella, combining uplifting, self-empowering vocals with soaring rock riffs and intense solos. They often use elements of Hard Rock and Alternative Metal with a bit of a Glam Metal sheen, and guitarist/songwriter Jun Senoue cites many famous rock bands of the 80's as big influences for the group's sound.

They first teamed up to perform the opening theme song "Open Your Heart" for Sonic Adventure, then came back together under the moniker 'Sons of Angels' to record the soundtrack for the game NASCAR Arcade, which were all released on their first album, Thrill of the Feel. Soon after the game was released however, the Swedish metal band 'Sons of Angels' reunited, so Jun and Johnny changed their group name to 'Crush 40', combining the name Jun's favorite soda and Johnny's favorite number.

They next appeared on the soundtrack of Sonic Adventure 2, providing their Signature Song "Live and Learn". The next two games in the Sonic series, Sonic Heroes and Shadow the Hedgehog, wrote two songs for each of them them. They appeared in Sonic the Hedgehog 2006, recording a cover of the Magna Fi's "All Hail Shadow" (featured in Shadow the Hedgehog) and covered Zebrahead's theme song "His World". They also wrote three songs for Sonic and the Black Knight. They also wrote the theme song Free for Sonic Free Riders, and performed their own version which was included on the game's soundtrack. Many of their previous songs appear in Sonic Generations, and they have also recorded their own version of the North American Sonic CD theme song "Sonic Boom", collaborating with Synth Pop group Cash Cash.

They have released three albums: Sons of Angels, the NASCAR Arcade soundtrack; the self-titled Crush 40, which is a repackaged version of Sons of Angels with the instrumental tracks removed and two new bonus songs; and The Best of Crush 40 – Super Sonic Songs, a Greatest Hits Album, collecting songs from previous game appearances and providing a few new exclusives, such as covers of Un-gravitify from Sonic Riders Zero Gravity and The Cult's perennial hit Fire Woman, as well a new original song titled Is It You. Several other songs were also remastered for the album's release.

In 2010, they performed at the Summer of Sonic event in London. In 2011, they performed live at the Sonic Boom event at E3 in Los Angeles in collaboration with Cash Cash. In July 2011, they performed their first full concert in Tokyo, featuring mainly Sonic material but also including covers of songs from Johnny Gioeli's previous band Hardline, including Hot Cherie, Love Leads the Way, and Everything. They also debuted a new original composition, Song of Hope, a charity single for those affected by the Japanese tsunami earlier that year.

They are currently writing an EP of original material to be released by 2012.


Tropes that apply to Crush40 include:

  • Alternative Metal: When they aren't being Hard Rock.
  • Call Back: Sonic Youth, one of their newest songs, references old Crush 40 songs in the lyrics.
  • Cover Version: Tons. Some of their more notable ones are their cover of All Hail Shadow by Magna Fi (their first cover) and their live cover of Hardline's Hot Cherie, which in itself was a huge case of Covered Up.
    • The Cover Changes the Meaning: their cover of Zebrahead's His World. Originally, it was a fast paced Punk Rap song with rebellious and carefree lyrics that perfectly fit Sonic. Crush40's version was slower paced, and had a more epic feel to it. Its lyrics were mysterious and weighty and more befit Shadow.
      • Their cover of All End's With Me is much heavier than the original. The tone of the lyrics would also suit Metal Sonic fairly well.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: Open Your Heart seems to be about someone in the middle of such a situation and trying to avert it.
  • Face of the Band: Jun Senoue actually stated that the band would cease to exist if either he or Johnny left.
  • "I Am" Song: Most of their songs, actually. Most notably I Am (All of Me).
  • Industrial Metal: I Am (All of Me) has elements of this.
  • Intercourse with You: Their cover of Fire Woman by The Cult, and Hot Cherie, by Hardline. Which is really odd, considering the franchise the band is normally associated with.
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Usually about a six (Watch Me Fly and His World) or a seven (Open Your Heart, Live and Learn, and What I'm Made Of) but they occasionally reach an 8 (I Am (All Of Me) and With Me (Massive Power Mix)) or go down lower (Is It You, Knight of The Wind)
  • Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: Their cover of His World. It mixes elements of Symphonic Metal, Hard Rock, and Rap Rock, and ends with a random piano solo.
  • Signature Song: Open Your Heart and Live and Learn, their first two Sonic songs.
  • What Could Have Been: Initially on the support list for the original launch of the Rock Band Network, but it sadly seems that it won't be happening...
  • Villain Song: With Me for sure. What I'm Made Of is more vague, but it would seem to fit Metal Sonic better than Sonic, so it could count. I Am (All of Me) plays with this trope.
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