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Swiss Band Mistaken For ACDC Tribute Act - 71%

DeathRiderDoom, June 16th, 2009

Krokus has always been known as the Swiss AC/DC – a description which brings both merit and detriment. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with AC/DC – they’re a great hard rock act – but of course – your metal purists are likely to latch onto this comparison, and deny to the hilt that any band with such a likeness to this ‘hard rock’ act isn’t really a heavy metal band after all, is it? Krokus has been long argued over – are they truly a metal band? Admittedly – the band is at their best when they play their heavier edge – writing thrillers such as ‘Russian Winter’and ‘Headhunter’ where they ditch the 70’s hard rockin’ AC/DC tones in favor of a faster, more speed metal induced attack. That’s the problem with this single, if any (and indeed the album the tracks are taken from). The direction the band took on this album borrowed too heavily from the legendary Aussie rockers – it has heaviness, but largely pushed aside in favour of light twanginess, and vocal throatiness a la Bon Scott. Nevertheless – it’s quality stuff.

Though the “classic lineup” of Krokus had aligned two years prior, and much of the slower, tired 70’s formula of the initial albums had been shed in the album ‘Metal Rendez-Vous’ – Krokus opted to almost backtrack here – reverting to a bit more late 70’s hard rockery – a somewhat commercially driven approach, not daring to dip their sound in molten steel just yet (that would come arguably two years later). This is why the album ‘One Vice at a Time’ doesn’t receive the critical acclaim that ‘Headhunter’ and ‘The Blitz’ often do – a reversion to safer, reliable 70’s AC/DC instead of forging new ground. Here – as a single – it’s not quite as obvious as on the full length the cuts are from, however. ‘Save Me’ retains a bit more melody than many AC/DC tracks, however with its gigantic hook in the simplistic chorus sections, and it’s exceptionally Bon Scott-sounding finish in vocal delivery – still smacks of 70’s hard rock. It is solid though – enjoyable, catchy as hell, fun – but drenched in influence from the aforementioned.

The ridiculously titled ‘Long Stick Goes Boom’ is a song I still wonder what the hell is about to this day – and I got the record 6-7 years ago. Probably some sexual innuendo – either way, the faded riffs, and Bon Scott delivery in the introductory verse are far too AC/DC – yet thoroughly well done. Another massive hook in the chorus here. The riffs here are simplistic, but dirty as hell – even given the clean production. Lyrics speak of rioting, hot blood, sweat and sex. This one is thoroughly memorable with its massive, bombastic chorus, yet I loathe the awkward title, and the riffs are at times a little too simplistic. Showing their true skill, the band finishes the number on excellent guitar play, what feel like improvised vocal shoutings and whimpers and smashing cymbals – they have a knack for good finishes. This single is simplistic, dirty riffed hard rockin fun. The only problem is that the band went a bit too much in the AC/DC vein here, jettisoning any originality that had started to come through in some of the previous releases, and replacing it with excellent renditions of the Aussie rockers, at the expense of their own sound. Not to worry though – this period gave way to a heavy, more speed metal influenced era, with more original sounding cuts.

-DeathRiderDoom