KROKUS-Big Rocks

Century Media Records

29 January 2017 by Michel van de Moosdijk

I think if the guys from Krokus would publish a book about their career it could be a bestseller. The band from Solothurn, Switzerland is rocking around the world and back for a (modest) 40 years or so releasing more than twenty live and studio records and a bunch of compilations as well. During the 1980’s the band was managed by a guy called Butch Stone (also manager of Black Oak Arkansas and a concert promoter) and he was known as a man that would not stand for criticism on his work. I think if the members of the band would write that book a big portion would be about their adventures with Stone who was holding his bands in an iron grip and there were rumours that he had connections in the criminal circuit. I saw the band for the first time during their ‘Metal Rendez-Vous’ tour in 1980 and that CD is to this day seen as their best. Krokus had quite a lot of success in the United States in their time, but did cop heaps of criticism from the international press who saw the group as a cheap imitation of AC/DC. True, they played a lot of covers in those days, some released as single and with success. And the sound and song structures were in the style of AC/DC. Bassist Chris von Rohr has never denied those influences, but let us be fair here: you cannot have a career for over 40 years just imitating another band. Krokus has been the band that put their native country on the rock map and has inspired their fellow countrymen from Shakra and Gotthard to go out and built a career. It is funny but these three bands are doing a tour through their own country soon playing in some big venues. Well, as I early mentioned Krokus has always recorded covers in their past and here are a bunch more. The band has tackled a lot of popular songs from Zeppelin’s ,,Whole Lotta Love’’, Black Sabbath’s ,,N.I.B.’’, Eddy Cochran’s ,,Summertime Blues’’ (big hit in the sixties for Blue Cheer), Queen’s ,,Tie Your Mother Down’’, The Rolling Stones’ ,,Jumping Jack Flash’’ and even The Who’s ,,My Generation’’. Songs that fit well with Krokus and singer Marc Storace who’s gritty voice has not lost any power and is as always recognisable. But Krokus has not done a lot with the songs. The band is sticking close to the original versions. I would have expected some tracks to have a different arrangement, a surprising interpretation, something against the grain, something totally unexpected. That is not really the case on ‘Big Rocks’, that according to Von Rohr and original guitarist Fernando von Arb is a tribute to the artists and bands that paved the way for Krokus to do their thing. And no, there is not an AC/DC song included on ‘Big Rocks’, but they did record ,,Backseat Rock N’ Roll’’ out of their own repertoire. ‘Big Rocks’ is a record cooked up via a recipe that Krokus has delivered for so many years: good time powerful rock and roll and heavy rock, played with expertise and above all with passion. And you can’t fault that, can you?







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