The Krokus debut is often extremely heavy, bordering on fusion, and easily the most challenging work of their career in a technical sense.
Written by: Dangerzone
SERIAL: 6326 928
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Switzerland
LINEUP: Tommy Kiefer – vocals, guitar * Hansi Droz – guitar * Remo Spadino – bass * Chris Von Rohr – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Majale * 02 Angela Part 1 * 03 Energy * 04 Mostsaphin * 05 No Way * 06 Eventide Clockworks * 07 Freak Dream * 08 Jumpin’ In * 09 Insalata Mysta * 10 Angela Part 2 * 11 Just Like Everyday
WEBLINKS: Site Link
For many years I was under the assumption Krokus guitarist Fernando Von Arb was responsible for forming Krokus in the mid 70’s. I should have paid more attention to detail, as it was Von Rohr who put the Swiss legends together in 1975 along with Kiefer, who would last as a member until 1981.
During these early days Von Rohr was a drummer, before taking over on bass and vocals for 1977’s ‘To You All’. The Krokus heard here is far removed from their eventual direction in the 80’s, with more progressive shades apparent, very typical of the period, with more than a passing nod to the likes of Yes or even Manfred Mann at their most explosive.
It’s often extremely heavy, bordering on fusion, and easily the most challenging work of their career in a technical sense. It hasn’t dated well like much of their work, but this is still an intriguing listening experience.
This is a solid hard rock album, ‘Majale’ boasting some fantastic riffs, nothing AC/DC inspired naturally, more in a Who fashion reminiscent of 1971.
Funky bass riffs dominate instrumental ‘Angela Part 1’, conjuring up images of a Dirty Harry theme, with some excellent fusion styled guitar and drum breaks in the mix. ‘Mostaphin’ is another instrumental, only more offbeat, with more melting guitar solos that recall Manfred Mann‘s 1976 ‘The Roaring Silence’.
‘No Way’ takes a near country direction initially, but adds some Led Zeppelin riffs for effect and followed by serene piano piece ‘Eventide Clockworks’, makes for some nice swerves in sound. ‘Freak Dreams’ is the most melodic track on offer, almost Pink Floyd-ish in execution.
The polar opposite is ‘Jumpin’ In’, with heavy conga use suggesting Santana, before ‘Insalata Mysta’ goes on a progressive onslaught, with all kinds of bizarre effects tossed in to the fray, with often heavy guitar work and keyboard use, and at seven minutes quite the epic. ‘Just Like Everyday’ is a basic hard rocker more indicative of the direction the band would take, but somehow nullified by the vocals, which are too high pitched.
A promising start which would only be improved upon. Realistically there wasn’t much further Krokus could have taken with this sound. By ‘To You All’ the writing was already on the wall, as the band explored their boogie side, often in the vein of Status Quo, although ‘Mr Greedy’ was note for note copy of Kiss‘ ‘Hotter Than Hell’.
‘Krokus’ is good for completists but somehow I feel it isn’t essential, despite the quality. I would find it hard to play this instead of ‘One Vice At A Time’ or even ‘Stampede’. For those who want to explore the origins of Switzerland’s greatest rock band by all means investigate. You’re unlikely to be disappointed.
Entire Album (Select Tracks)
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