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Krokus - 2013 Dirty Dynamite

ARTIST: Krokus
ALBUM: Dirty Dynamite
LABEL: Sony Music,
SERIAL: 88765415452
YEAR: 2013


LINEUP: Marc Storace - vocals * Fernando Von Arb - guitar * Mark Kohler - guitar * Mandy Meyer - guitar * Chris Von Rohr - bass * Kosta Zafiriou - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Hallelujah Rock N Roll * 02 Go Baby Go * 03 Rattlesnake Rumble * 04 Dirty Dynamite * 05 Let the Good Times Roll * 06 Help * 07 Better Than Sex * 08 Dog Song * 09 Yellow Mary * 10 Bailout Blues * 11 Live Ma Life * 12 Hardrocking Man



Continuing their recent resurgence is Krokus, who after a lackluster pair of albums in the 2000's really fired back with 2010's 'Hoodoo', which was one of their most genuine and best efforts in many a moon. Amazingly there's only been one departure in the last three years, with Freddy Steady leaving the band for the umpteenth time, this time being replaced by former Pink Cream 69 drummer Kosta Zafiriou for recording purposes. Mandy Meyer also rejoined the band, the latest of his numerous stints with Krokus, adding a third guitarist into the fray. The band recorded this at Abbey Road Studios in order to gain some special ambience I gather. It also explains the inclusion of 'Help', with the band playing homage to The Beatles in rather unusual fashion. With each release I'm always curious to see what direction the veterans will explore and as long as it doesn't emulate 'Rock The Block' I'll be more than happy..

The Songs
The emphasis seems to be on recreating much of the early 80's for the majority of the early songs, if lacking the power the band possessed back in the 1980-82 era. Storace is back to his best Bon Scott imitation, heard as early as first track 'Halluijah Rock N Roll' a tried and tested rocker that still sounds better than AC/DC themselves. 'Go Baby Go' pushes it even further, this one sounding straight out of the 'Hardware' album, vintage Krokus riffs straight from the Young brothers repertoire circa 'Powerage'. This is some classic three chord boogie, heard in exceptional clarity during the guitar solos. This is up there with the recent Bullet material. 'Rattlesnake Rumble' also has the early 80's vibe about it, this one in the ZZ Top vein riff-wise and better than anything of those guys useless album from 2012. For a dude in his 60's Storace is sounding as good as ever too, just listen to him here and it's impossible to separate him from his 1981 self. The title track has the same structure as 'Bedside Radio', with one big riff throughout and a good one at that. There's more inspired riffs on 'Let the Good Times Roll', again pushing the AC/DC envelope as Krokus do now and again, but always with their own niche. Things are broken up by the 'Help' cover, with the song reduced to a crawl and barely resembling the original. This isn't a bad move considering Krokus' penchant for including a cover on every album.

Sadly it also signals the downfall of this album. In an era when albums are no longer defined by their two sides, this really is a tale of two halves, with the remaining tracks abject letdowns. It's painful to go into detail, but the riffs are stale and it degenerates into some of the blandness of the bands weaker work of the 90's and 00's. 'Yellow Mary' is too light for example, with a chorus I'd imagine a bunch of school children singing along to. Then there's the repetitive 'Better Than Sex' and 'Dog Song', both lacking any hint of memorable melody or vitality. 'Bailout Blues' is a worn out title in many regards and this one has a hint of 'One Vice At A Time' only without the heaviness, although it's the best on offer of this latter half. The insipidness continues with the awfully titled 'Live Ma Life', with Storace singing about being on the run and roaming free as he usually does, except this track is as dull as the latest Saxon album. You'd think with a title like 'Hardrocking Man' that might signal something heavy at least, but not even this has any real bite to it. That's the problem with these songs; they have no balls and that's putting it mildly and crudely. It's all a bit too gentle and laid back. Who wants that?

In Summary
I'm staggered at how this album collapses in a heap so rapidly and completely. Krokus have been inconsistent at the best of times, but to raise hopes with five excellent songs and then totally blow it is a bit disconcerting. Obviously the band aren't youngsters anymore, but the quality control went missing on this album. It isn't a patch on 'Hoodoo' that's for sure. It's good to still have Krokus doing the rounds, but this album for all the promise it hints at is a major disappointment.

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#1 | gdazegod on March 09 2013 07:56:59
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#2 | dude24 on May 19 2013 00:48:29
Love this album. It is what it is.

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