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Articles Home » 2003 Articles » Krokus - 2003 Rock The Block
Krokus - 2003 Rock The Block

ARTIST: Krokus
ALBUM: Rock The Block
SERIAL: 092 749735 2
YEAR: 2003


LINEUP: Marc Storace - vocals * Fernando Von Arb - guitars * Favez - guitars * Tony Castell - bass * Aeby - guitars

TRACK LISTING: 01 Mad World * 02 Leading The Pack * 03 I Want It All * 04 Open Fire * 05 One For All * 06 Looking To America * 07 Go My Way * 08 Hot Shot * 09 Raise Your Hand * 10 Snakes Throwing Her * 11 China * 12 We'll Rise * 13 Freedom * 14 Rock The Block

WEBLINKS: krokusonline.seven49.net

Released a year ago, this was supposed to arrive at Glory Daze in that timeframe but never surfaced! Better late than never? Perhaps. 'Rock The Block' marked vocalist Marc Storace's third stint with the band following his initial classic run from 1980-88 before rejoining for 1995's 'To Rock Or Not To Be' only to disappear again. Ever the prodigal son, Storace resumes the microphone again in another attempt to recapture the heady days of the early 80's, a feat duly achieved in the band's native Switzerland as the album shot straight to number one. Musically Von Arb and Storace have long since lost the boogie/metal might of the vintage 1980-84 period, preferring to continue in the (by their one time standards) fairly laid back standards of 'To Rock Or Not To Be' and 1999's Carl Sentance fronted 'Round 13'. It makes for predictable listening, stale AC/DC style riffs, worn out lyrics and an overall lack of raunch and bite. It's unfortunate to write such words about Krokus but it seems rather obvious when stacked up to 'One Vice At A Time' or 'Headhunter'.

The Songs
'Mad World' is an inoffensive opener, reserved hard rock with a noticeable lack of sting in the riffs. Storace hasn't lost a thing vocally, although his lyrics are often heard, especially the line 'we're going to hit your lazy town' on 'Leading The Pack' which I recall hearing on 'Easy Rocker' or something similar from 1981! This is a more gritty affair heaviness wise. Bland is the best description for 'I Want It All', a bit too easy going. 'Open Fire' should have been fast metal with such a title, but instead is another slow rocker, with the great line, 'open fire, burning desire!' 'Looking To America' reminds me of all those similarly titled 80's tracks like 'Hello America' by Def Leppard or Saxon's 'Sailing To America' (and Battleaxe's 'Make It In America'), a blatant attempt perhaps to find US favour again even though its subject matter concerns people wanting to live in the promised land (America? Promised Land? seems the Krokus boys are currently living in the land of Nod .. oops Ed). 'Hot Shot' attempts to recapture the brazen riffs of old, with moderate success. AC/DC makes an appearance on 'Raise Your Hands' going uncredited, although to be serious no one has ever done it as well as Krokus. Although 'Night Of The Snakes' opens with a promising riff it never evolves into anything meaningful, almost as dull as the current Deep Purple 'Banana' effort. A forced attempt at the naughty days of old is tried with 'Throwing Her China', with Storace sounding tired, just like 'Freedom', where Storace sings 'don't waste your life away' for the umpteenth time.

In Summary
At fourteen tracks this is overlong, with scant few of them standing out. In nearly thirty years of recorded music this ranks for me as Krokus' weakest album. Without the boogie overload and fierce metal that once epitomized the band, there's not much left except regurgitated riffs from Von Arb and the same ideas and themes from Storace. Normally that wouldn't be bad, but with a less than credible sense of heaviness and a mild tone, Krokus could almost be accused of doing it for the money. The previous lineup with Sentance were far closer to the spirit of true Krokus, a raw rock act able to stand with the best of them on any given day. With Krokus a going concern for the foreseeable future maybe they can churn out something with purpose again rather than play it safe.

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