I’ve been a fan of Krokus for well over 30yrs and have always loved their songs with dodgy lyrics and AC/DC sounding riffs. This is their 3rd live album and it’s that good has gone onto the list of my favourite live albums ever. It really is a fan’s dream mixing classics from their 1st 4 studio albums recorded with Marc Storace on lead vocals, Metal Rendezvous, Hardware, One Vice At A Time and Headhunter, along with tracks from their 2 latest releases Hoodoo and Dirty Dynamite. Founder member Chris Von Rohr was actually quoted in the press by saying One Vice At A Time “Was the album AC/DC should have made”. Aside from the riffs, the vocals of Marc are uncannily like those of Bon Scott.
This new live album was recorded in the band’s hometown of Solothurn in Switzerland at the venue where their career began almost 40yrs ago and has a raw production that sounds like it could have been taken directly from the mixing desk with no overdubs. Production duties were in fact carried out by Chris himself and a fine job he did as the wall of riffs from their 3 guitarists, yes you read that right, 3 guitarists heralds the beginning of opening number ‘Long Stick Goes Boom’, Marc joins in at the 2 minute mark and after 32yrs since the song was recorded, he still delivers with his trademark rasp. At just over 7 minutes long it is an epic start with a few bars of ‘Pinball Wizard’ thrown in midway before the song races to a guitar frenzied finish. Two new numbers follow from the 2013 release Dirty Dynamite. ‘Hallelujah Rock N Roll’ shows they have not lost their edge and the massive chorus makes it a real crowd pleaser. ‘Go Baby Go’ runs along in the vein of ‘Johnny B.Goode.’ especially when it gets to the guitar solo.
Krokus have covered a few songs over the years and in my opinion, their best one is included here as they put their own stamp on a riff heavy version of ‘American Woman’ with pauses for more crowd interraction. The serrated opening riffs of ‘Tokyo Nights’ are backed by almost reggae fills during a rollicking ‘Tokyo Nights’ from their breakthrough album Metal Rendezvous and there is hardly any difference since it’s 1980 beginnings especially from Marc who nails every note with ease and contains some dubious lyrics even by Krokus’ standards. Still with the same album, a glorious ‘Fire’ follows which, if possible, is as intense as the recorded version with some soaring guitar soloing. Next we have a medley of ‘Rock City’ from the Hardware album and another 2 new ones, ‘Better Than Sex and ‘Dog Song’ showing again how the newer numbers fit easily into the set with the older classics. One of many highlights of the album is next. Of course no Krokus set would be complete without one of the most underrated rock ballads ever. It is ‘Screaming In The Night’ from the Headhunter album. The opening chords still raise the hairs on the back of the neck as the rest of the band join in with Marc delivering one of his finest vocals with the lyric of “Screaming in the night, fighting for my life I’d die for you” delivered straight from the heart.
‘Hellraiser’ is not a Sweet cover but a stomping, hard commercial number from the album of the same name. ‘Bedside Radio, possibly Krokus’ most well known and another underrated slice of commercial hard rock that 1st got me into the band’s music all those years still sounds like ‘High Voltage’ by AC/DC with an instantly memorable chorus. One of Krokus’ finest riffs introduces yet another classic, the thundering ‘Easy Rocker’, another choice cut from the Hardware album, introduced by Marc as “The human spirit, the spirit of rock and roll”, it’s lyrics highlight the dedication rock fans show towards their favourite bands with a killer guitar solo from Fernando Von Arb. ‘Heatstrokes’, also from their ground breaking album (the 1st to be recorded with Marc on vocals in 1980) is one of the heaviest numbers on offer here as it’s high energy riffs thunder throughout with lyrics almost as dodgy as their stage clothes. The song even has an outro featuring a few bars of ‘Day Tripper’.
The album ends with 2 tracks from the 2010 release Hoodoo. Another example of their penchant not to rest on their laurels. ‘Live For The Action’ is a catchy slice of riff heavy 70’s glam rock with a chorus to die for in the vein of ‘Bedside Radio’, the guitar solo takes on the main melody with the audience providing a noisy backdrop.Closing song ‘Hoodoo Woman’ is a drum heavy slice of heavy rock with the audience almost taking the roof off during the closing choruses! A fine end to an awesome live album currently on release via The End Records. UK fans will have chance for a rare visit from Krokus when they play at the Hard Rock Hell Festival in Pwllheli, South Wales on Nov.14th 2014.
Krokus band :-
Marc Storace – Lead vocals.
Chris Von Rohr – Bass guita/vocals.
Fernando Von Arb – Guitar/vocals.
Mark Kohler – Guitar.
Mandy Meyer – Guitar.
Flavio Mezzodi – Drums.
Long Stick Goes Boom.
Hallelujah Rock N Roll.
Go Baby Go.
Medley: Rock City/Better Than Sex/Dog Song.
Screaming In The Night.
Live For The Action.