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Krokus - "Hoodoo" (CD)

Krokus - "Hoodoo" CD cover image

"Hoodoo" track listing:

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

Reviewed by on April 22, 2010

"With 'Hoodoo,' Krokus has come up with a decent album to drink beer to in a room full of friends, and that's probably good enough."

For more than 30 years, Krokus has been creating AC/DC-style rock, complete with a singer who's up there with Jackyl's Jesse James Dupree when it comes to the ability to win a Bon Scott soundalike contest. If that's what you're looking for, the band's latest disc, "Hoodoo" ought to be right up your alley.

After years of lineup changes, this go-round features Krokus members from the band's early-'80s heyday, including Marc Storace on vocals, Fernando Von Arb on lead guitar, backed by Mark Kohler on rhythm guitar, Chris Von Rohr on bass and Freddy Steady on drums. It seems like everything's in place for Krokus to join Kiss, AC/DC and Motorhead among the classic metal acts who've enjoyed a late-career comeback in the last few years.

Certainly, the opener, the no-doubt soon to be a strip club favorite "Drive It In" leads one to believe that'll be the case. Storace's vocals definitely sell it, and Von Arb's Angus Young-style fills and solo are great.

The first single, "Hoodoo Woman," has a nice driving blues feel and reminds me a little of something ZZ Top might've done in the '70s or early '80s. It's nothing spectacular, but, frankly beats a lot of what's out there.

And then, album starts to go off the rails with the totally unnecessary cover of "Born To Be Wild," which attempts to marry the Steppenwolf classic with the riff to AC/DC's "Shoot To Thrill." It just doesn't work well, and feels more than a little desperate — especially coming from a band with a 30-year history.

"Rock 'N' Roll Handshake" is a nice little groover with a sing-along chorus ideal for shouting out the window of your Camaro as your hair blows in the breeze. In other words, it's just the kind of song you'd buy this album for. Less successful is the ballad "Ride Into The Sun," which slows the momentum to a halt.

"Too Hot" is just about the perfect 1980s pop-metal tune, while "In My Blood" revs up the tempo. By now, though, the band is starting to wear out its welcome. Sure, "Dirty Street" is a decent slow blues tune, but it drags on a minute too long.

"Keep Me Rolling" rocks along in AC/DC style (the riff in the chorus is reminiscent of the one in "Walk All Over You," if we're keeping score). Heck, the next track, "Shot Of Love" even shares its title with an AC/DC song! Then, we get the fast closer "Firestar."

The biggest problem with "Hoodoo" is that though it's pleasant enough, it never really delivers anything memorable in terms of riffs. Though Krokus' heroes AC/DC might create albums that "all sound the same," there's no doubt that riffs like the ones in "Back In Black," "Thunderstruck" or even the more recent "Rock 'N' Roll Train" stand out even if big chunks of the rest of their respective albums "all sound the same." The only time Krokus manages to do that on "Hoodoo" is the bit that opens "Rock 'N' Roll Handshake."

I really wanted to like this album a lot more than I do. It was probably unfair of me to expect this disc to be the next "Black Ice" or "Sonic Boom." With "Hoodoo," Krokus has come up with a decent album to drink beer to in a room full of friends, and that's probably good enough.

Highs: "Drive It In" and "Rock 'N' Roll Handshake."

Lows: The totally unneccessary cover of "Born To Be Wild," a lack of memorable riffs.

Bottom line: An OK, if pretty lightweight party-rock album.

Rated 3.0 out of 5 skulls
3.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)