Monday, April 19, 2010

Review: Krokus, "Hoodoo"

Life is full of surprises.

When the link to download a promo of Krokus’ latest arrived in my inbox, I rolled my eyes. I never was a big fan of the band in their heyday, and I doubted they could do anything to win me over at this late date. But about halfway through the second track, “Hoodoo Woman,” I was stunned to find myself grooving along to the 1970s Aerosmith feel of the track. I had pictures of that goofy video for “Screaming in the Night,” and I couldn’t believe I was really digging this.

Hoodoo is a stripped-down affair with a heavy blues rock influence. Much of it sounds like Bon Scott-era AC/DC, but surprisingly, that’s also a big part of the charm of the record for me. It’s very much a 1970s hard rock affair, but it sounds quite authentic and genuine. There’s a little of Aerosmith here and there, a bit of ZZ Top on the riff of “Rock ‘n’ Roll Handshake,” a touch of Guns ‘n’ Roses on “In My Blood,” and a taste of Judas Priest’s more old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll numbers on “Firestar.”

There are some losers on the record. A cover of “Born to Be Wild” is always a bad idea, and even worse when you decide to turn it into a 1980s hard rocker. “Ride Into the Sun” gives me something closer to what I expected, echoing “Screaming in the Night” a little. But the few misses are more than made up for by tasty, fun-loving nuggets like “Drive It In,” “In My Blood” and “Dirty Street.”

There’s not an original note anywhere on this record, but still I’m loving it. It’s a straight-up, no frills collection of 1970s blues-based, High Voltage hard rock and it’s about as cool as it gets.

Get "Hoodoo."

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