KROKUS – Dirty Dynamite

Krokus - Dirty DynamiteEvery time the name Krokus pops up in a musical conversation around me and my friends, scornful grins start to appear on faces and some people actually laugh out loud, like this band was some kind of a joke. Maybe Krokus isn’t a joke, but the last 20 or so years has been somewhat turbulent for the Swiss boys. There has been an ever flowing stream of members walking in and out of the band and at one point Krokus didn’t have one original member in the line up. But things wasn’t always this bad. When I was a teenage hard rocker, Krokus was well-respected and mentioned in the same breath as Iron Maiden, Scorpions, Saxon, Accept and Judas Priest, much due to the fact that their album, the 1983 release Headhunter had been a major success, both in Europe and overseas. So what went wrong then? Well, Krokus started to see the signs of the times, which were colourful clothes and catchy pop melodies. Worked for some bands, but Krokus was a hard rock band with one leg in heavy metal territory and their new style, which started in 1984 with The Blitz that still had some hard rock in it but with more pop than ever before, and culminated with Change Of Address (1986), an album full of pop metal hits, keyboards and glammy outfits. That said, neither of those albums were bad at all, quite the opposite, but they just weren’t Krokus. Since then, the band never got their respect back and even though the band never split up, they have lived an ailing subsistence. Up until 2010 and their last album Hoodoo, that is.

Because with that album, Krokus had begun to get some of their respect from fans around the world and they had reunited with their most famous line up with Marc Storace (vocals), Fernando Von Arb and Mark Kohler (guitars), Chris Von Rohr (bass) and Freddy Steady (drums). I wouldn’t say that Hoodoo was a new Headhunter by any means, but it sure was the best album the band had made in ages and ages. And on that track Krokus has decided to stay on for their new album, the oh so cheesy titled Dirty Dynamite. Even though I have some Krokus albums in my collection, I was never a huge fan of the band. Headhunter still gets my chops up, but it could be for nostalgic reason more than anything else and I don’t know if i can subscribe to all the praise I have read in different forums about the resurrection of this band. As I said, Hoodoo was a good enough come back and this one is, in my book, just an OK follow-up to that.

The album opens with “Hallelujah Rock ‘n’ Roll”, a decent party rocker, “Go Baby Go” is a really good AC/DC clone that makes you think of their days of old, the title track is a very groovy rock’n’roller that gives me Georgia Satellites vibes and their cover choice of this album (they always add one cover to each album) is of The Beatles “Help”. They turned it into a ballad. At first it sounds weird, but when the song is over, I realise that I actually like it a lot. Very imaginative, boys. “Yellow Mary” is a catchy rocker with some poppy undertones and a nice break from all the AC/DC – borrowing and the last song on the album, “Hardrocking Man” has some of the most clichéd and cheesy lyrics I have ever heard, but it grooves like a mix of early Whitesnake and AC/DC and it is a totally great song despite the lyrics. Sometimes lyrics just don’t count.

I guess that hardcore fans of the band will love this and the same goes for all of you who dug their last few albums. I think the album is okay, but not that special. I believe they are on the right track, but the songs aren’t strong enough, in my opinion and there is too much AC/DC in here for comfort. Still, I think the album has a spark and it really feels like the guys has found out what makes them tick, so more power to them for trying. It sure will be interesting to see if the spark is there when they show up at Sweden Rock this summer.

Jon Wilmenius (6/10)

Track list:

1. Hallelujah Rock N’ Roll
2. Go Baby Go
3. Rattlesnake Rumble
4. Dirty Dynamite
5. Let The Good Times Roll
6. Help (Beatles Cover)
7. Better Than Sex
8. Dög Song
9. Yellow Mary
10. Bailout Blues
11. Live Ma Life
12. Hardrocking Man

2 comments on “KROKUS – Dirty Dynamite

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