Krokus - 'Big Rocks'

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Krokus - 'Big Rocks'

Definitely a release for completest, hardcore Krokus fans only and one that could have been so much better with a bit of thought.

Swiss Metal masters Krokus have decided, after forty plus years, to release an album of songs that were an influence in their formative years. Formed in 1975 and releasing their self-titled debut a year later, the band stayed under the radar until the band changed front-man and recruited Bon Scott sound-a-like Marc Storace in 1979, shortly after the first of the three classic Krokus albums 'Metal Rendez-vous' was released. This was my introduction to the band when Tommy Vance played the classic 'Bedside Radio' on the Friday Rock Show and the rest is history. Despite numerous line-up changes, Krokus have continued with the voice of Storace and heavy guitars being the signature sound.

The line-up that recorded 'Big Rocks' contains four members of the "classic" Krokus formation – namely Storace, guitarists Fernando Von Arb and Mandy Meyer along with bassist Chris Von Rohr – who are ably assisted by additional guitarist Mark Kohler and drummer Flavio Mezzodi. The album comprises of the Krokus take on well-known classics from the sixties onwards.

The big surprise for me is the lack of an AC/DC cover as the early sound was definitely influenced by them. The problem I have is the songs chosen are all classics and to me have been covered many, many times and unfortunately the versions here bring nothing new to the table. There are only so many versions of 'Summertime Blues' you would like to hear in a lifetime.

I would have much preferred new material as I think sometimes cover albums are a cop out or an easy win, but for the life of me I see little artistic merit in these. These songs obviously mean something to the band but to do straight copies is not the smartest move. There are a couple of good versions like 'Quinn The Eskimo' (it must be a Swiss thing as Gotthard have also covered this) and Queen's 'Tie Your Mother Down'.

This is definitely a release for completest, hardcore Krokus fans only and one that could have been so much better with a bit of thought.

Mick Parry

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