Krokus – Hoodoo

Krokus - Hoodoo

There is very little to say about Krokus’ Hoodoo. The album marks the first studio collaboration of the original members in twenty years and its sound dates back even farther. While they can advertise, merchandise and theorize as much as they want about being fierce and fresh, the album is anything but. In essence, it’s a stale and lifeless version of the hard rock 70s sound. If they ever weren’t just an imitation AC/DC and Led Zeppelin, they are now.

Krokus have certainly had an impressive career. Formed out of Switzerland over thirty years ago, they appeared more as an ELP-style prog band on Krokus (1976), but soon after, they veered towards the more successful hard rock style. They have toured nationally with the biggest metal bands, including Van Halen, Kiss, Motorhead, and Judas Priest. Now in the midst of middle age, they’ve returned to prove that they can still rock just as hard as ever. I’m not denying Krokus any credit for playing with passion, but their adequate musicianship is wasted on material that has no reason to exist (I know, it sounds cruel, but it’s true).

Opener “Drive It In” is what happens when AC/DC’s Brian Johnson bring new lyrics to Led Zeppelin’s classic “Rock and Roll.” Honestly, go listen to it, and tell me I’m wrong. A bit later, we’re treated to their cover of “Born To Be Wild,” which is like taking the Steppenwolf classic and throwing it into a garbage disposal. These are pretty much the only things worth discussing about the album; everything else is even less remarkable. Ok, “Ride Into The Sun” has decent guitar work which brings a slightly affective quality.

I’m not faulting Krokus and Hoodoo for providing that simple style of rock that fits perfectly with bikers, booze and broads (as the alliteration goes). There is an audience for this genre and certainly there are situations where you just want to bang your head and pump your fists (hell, even I enjoy some mindless kick-ass rock). My problem is that it’s not the least be new or unique. Again, it has no reason to exist, and it’s not exceptional in any respect.

I realize that Krokus has been doing this for about as long as their aforementioned peers, so I accept that their sound is their own, but even so, why reassemble after decades just to produce this? I’m sure their earlier work sufficed. Singer Marc Storace claims on their official site “At last we are back with a real, fresh rock album that will really make an impression. Strong songs, strong riffs, brilliant sound.” I’m sorry, but no.

Drive It In