Krokus

To You All

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After doing their part to destroy progressive rock's good name with their eponymous first album's "everything but the kitchen sink" songwriting schizophrenia, Krokus started feeling their way toward a far less complicated and ultimately more successful form of hard rock with their 1977 sophomore album, To You All. Indeed, only guitarist Tommy Kiefer and drummer -- now vocalist -- Chris Von Rohr remained from that ill-starred debut's recording lineup, and although they were backed by yet another short-lived rhythm section here (comprised of bassist Jürg Naegeli and drummer Freddy Steady), To You All is notable for heralding the arrival of second guitarist Fernando Von Arb, who would eventually take charge of the band during its mid-'80s glory years. Unfortunately, those years still seemed like an almost impossible dream in light of the frustratingly mixed results presented here, as Krokus insisted on diluting their increasingly cohesive heavy rock numbers, like the glam-flavored title track, the Kiss-like "Mr. Greedy," and the Southern rock candidate "Lonesome Rider," with unsatisfying bland pop diversions like "Move It On," "Trying Hard," and their especially painful descent into tepid MOR on "Festival" (although it did conclude with an unexpectedly heavy guitar riff borrowed from Frank Zappa's "Muffin Man"). For all of these inconsistencies, To You All did yield Krokus' first domestic hit with rambunctious opener "Highway Song," and this, along with Von Rohr's imminent hard rock enlightenment while attending an AC/DC concert, effectively paved the way to the group's hard rock rebirth and subsequent recruitment of Bon Scott sound-alike Marc Storace.