Krokus

Krokus

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Quite a far cry from the AC/DC-inspired hard rock sound they'd eventually ride to moderate success a whole decade later, Krokus' eponymous debut album from 1976 featured an artsy brand of prog rock, and was recorded by an almost entirely different crew of musicians. In fact, neither of the group's most recognizable future members, vocalist Marc Storace and guitarist Fernando Von Arb, had joined as of yet, and since guitarist Hansi Droz, bassist Remo Spadino, and guest vocalist Peter Richard would never be heard from again, the only names that may ring a bell are those of vocalist/guitarist Tommy Kiefer and drummer (later vocalist and bassist) Chris Von Rohr, who had founded the band almost two years earlier. Obviously, they'd had very little luck finding their identity in the time since, as this album's confusing mishmash of styles included everything from the tripped-out funk-rock of "Angela, Pt. 1" and folksy flutes of "Energy" to the country-ish slide guitars of "No Way Out," and from the aimless soft rock of "Freak Dream" and poor man's jazz fusion of "Mostsaphin" to the Santana-style Latino rock of "Jumpin' In" -- and don't even try to categorize Von Rohr's piano interlude, "Eventide Clockworks." Thrown together so recklessly, all of this chaotic experimentation could only be justified by using the conveniently broad umbrella of progressive rock, under which so many '70s bands sought shelter when they simply weren't good enough to excel at any one particular genre. Then again, perhaps experimenting was exactly what Krokus needed to do in order to identify their hard rock strengths, and there were indeed a few moderately heavy guitar-focused numbers here, like boogie-happy album opener "Majale," mildly glam-oriented closer "Just Like Everyday," and certain portions of jammy instrumental showcase "Insalata Mysta." Grouped together, it's not inconceivable that these tracks may have helped show Krokus the way forward after all, beginning with their somewhat less scattered 1977 sophomore album, To You All.