“Hoodoo” by Krokus

Artist: Krokus
Title: “Hoodoo”
Label: Sony Music
Release Date: 5/25/2010
Genre: Hard Rock/Heavy Metal
Rating: 3.5/5

I have to admit that with all of the comeback albums that we found happening over the last couple of years, there was one band that I wondered about a little more than others and that was Switzerland’s Krokus. Historically speaking they are probably the most popular Heavy Rock band to ever come out of the region and while they had some six albums before I turned my attention to them, I could not name a single Metal friend from back in the day that didn’t own a copy of the amazing “Headhunter” LP. With my own musical tastes changing and longing for super-powered speedier Metal, I would eventually lose sight of Krokus after “The Blitz” but that didn’t mean the band would stop their pace. Though lineup changes and musical styles of the world keep shifting, Krokus remained steady at the task and released sixteen studio albums, two live recordings and gave their fans a lucky seven in terms of compilations. Bringing us into the now, what would “Hoodoo” hold for the longtime ardent supporters and those who might be reflective and wondering how this band they once followed was doing at this point in their career. To both sides of the fence I can happily report that “it is on” and the band seems intent on snaring some of the glory of the past in this modern time. I realize that it’s a bold statement to make but one cannot help but be enthusiastic in the fact that the band has once again found its most legendary lineup in the command back for the attack. Not only is Chris Von Rohr on bass with Freddy Steady on drums, but we have the amazing talents of Fernando von Arb back on the lead axe with Mark Kohler being a strong compliment to his playing. Whew, there is nothing like finding a bands most prominent roster joining forces again for the sake of their material.

So before letting you read any further you should be aware that you are NOT going to find the likes of “Headhunter” or even “The Blitz” on this one and that all of the tunes while solid in composition are mostly mid-tempo ones. There is also an almost dead on feel that you are listening to Bon Scott era AC/DC all around the album, but that is nothing new when it comes to Krokus as many fans often felt that Marc Storace’s vocals were in this same register. The adventure begins with “Drive It In” which rocks and has promise as a tune and shows us how Marc’s voice is still as strong as it used to be instead of being a dim shadow of what his potential was. It slows down a bit with the apparent title themed track of “Hoodoo Woman” but there is some nice groove in this one. I don’t really understand the bands decision behind “Born To Be Wild” by Steppenwolf however because they chose not to give us a traditional version note for note and instead reworked the flow and feel of it. This might appease long time Krokus fans but piss off those who are in the Steppenwolf camp. Its really one of those songs that has been covered far too many times already and I think that Krokus should have left this for a bonus track or covered something else. I liked “Rock ‘N’ Roll Handshake” but this one was the direct calling upon the AC/DC of bygone years in my opinion – of course that’s never a bad thing but it didn’t “feel like Krokus” for me as much as I would have liked it to. I felt that “Ride Into The Sun” was this generation’s “Screaming In The Night” and I never mind thinking back upon that amazing track. It’s almost as if the adventures of that warrior have continued for the length of this new tune and that worked for me. Riff wise we were doing rather well, but since the drumming was kept primarily at “four on the floor” the tempo didn’t take us out of the box and while I liked Freddy’s steadiness, I would have loved to see him slamming out some double kick drums and flashy tom work. Notable tracks close up the release such as “Keep Me Rollin’” and “Firestar” which I felt was perhaps the albums best offering. It was a tune that left me wanting to hear more like it on the rest of the release. Fernando shows that he still has the great guitarist in his veins and I really like that he and the rest are working together again. I felt this roster is what made Marc sing his heart out which he does on every track.

Some editions of this release include a live DVD that shows the bands reunion show from 2008 but mine did not have this so I cannot speak on it. There is a 20 page booklet that delivers lyrics to all the songs along with some other liner notes and recent photos of the members in individual and a group shot which I think fans will like. It’s done in an “old style” and depending upon the light you view it in, might be a little tricky to read. It’s great to find Krokus on such an important label with their music as this should help out a band that has given a lot to the Hard Rock fans of the world and didn’t always get the recognition for it. The main critique is that like many of these other “return” releases by the older bands is that there is a sticking to one tempo and groove that can get boring if you are looking for a lot more to be going on. I feel that despite this view that the album is rather sound and could be an incredible experience in the live sense. Only time will tell but I shall support a show if they make my area that is for sure.

Track Listing:
1. Drive It In
2. Hoodoo Woman
3. Born To Be Wild
4. Rock ‘N’ Roll Handshake
5. Ride Into The Sun
6. Too Hot
7. In My Blood
8. Dirty Street
9. Keep Me Rollin’
10. Shot Of Love
11. Firestar

Official Website: http://www.krokusonline.com

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