Track Review: Tobin Rock // Cruel

One of the unique features of Tobin Rock is his openness to global collaborations. In these uncertain times, it is impossible to meet producers and band members in studios; therefore, one needs to take advantage of 21st-century technology. Hailing from Chicago, this American artist uses technology to create inspirational and engaging music, all from the comfort of his home. The latest addition to his growing discography is ‘Cruel’.



Reminiscent of Foo Fighters, Muse and Smashing Pumpkins, Tobin Rock leans toward an alternative rock sound but with some punk rock undertones. A powerful guitar-driven track, ‘Cruel’ incorporates dynamic riffs and guitar solos alongside Tobin’s gruff, throaty vocals. Not necessarily upbeat, but with a stirring tempo, ‘Cruel’ is emotive, forceful and engaging.

Focusing on issues of inner conflict, isolation and fear as a consequence of bullying, Tobin builds an anthem for people who find themselves bullied – and it’s not just children taunting children. Using a narrative, ‘Cruel’ exposes the long-term mental health problems experienced by victims of abuse and how “they still feel the pain”. Witty lyricism accompanied by a harsh melody, ‘Cruel’ enhances vulnerability with raw honest and genuine sincerity.

“As an artist, songwriter, musician…you should write, speak and create from whatever inspires you. As there is so much crazy going on in the world right now, I feel committed to attacking social issues and confronting what is really affecting or challenging us.” – Tobin Rock on ‘Cruel’

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