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Classic Rock Revisited’s Review of Big Rocks
Krokus is back with a batch of killer songs, all of which are classic rock tunes. Remakes are nothing new for this band, however, as they have made a name for themselves in the past by reworking classic tunes including “American Woman,” “Ballroom Blitz” and “Schools Out.” To take on classic songs such as these, a band must have big rocks and none come bigger than Krokus!
What makes a Krokus remake cooler than the other guys remakes is the fact that this band makes the songs they are covering their own… they always have. They don’t just copy a track; instead, they pay homage to their heroes and then put in the effort to Krokus-size the tune (bigger, with a side of fries). Chris von Rohr brings thumping, metallic low end while vocalist Marc Storace rips out the vocals. Guitarists Mandy Meyer, Mark Kohler and Fernando von Arb distort the hell out of the riff and Flavio Mezzodi pounds the backbeat hard, bringing it all home.
This band does not just enjoy doing remakes… they thrive on it. One can feel the fun in the room during the recording of “Wild Thing” and “Gimme Some Lovin’” but this is just child’s play. The band is just starting to warm up. They cook a bit on “Summertime Blues” but they are just simmering, while preparing to shift into high gear. As good as these stone cold classic rockers are these songs do not compare to the best of the best on this sucker.
Krokus kicks it up a notch right after teasing us with a tiny instrumental bit of the Black Sabbath tune “N.I.B.” When Queen’s “Tie Your Mother Down” blasts out your speakers, then shit gets real. “Quinn the Eskimo” is one of the best covers this band has ever done… and seeing as this band has done a lot of great covers, that’s saying something! “Born to Be Wild” sounds great but it’s “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” that really blows the roof off the joint. The music swoons and Storace struts along like he’s channeling Mick before ending the song with a sneer and the words ‘cross fire hurricane’! Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World” seems an odd choice for this band, but the song translates to harder rock very well. Another one that rocks up nicely is the Animals classic “House of the Rising Sun.”
The band also had the big rocks to even cover themselves! “Back Seat Rock N’ Roll” first appeared on Krokus' 1980 release Metal Rendezvous. This song shows the old timers are not in need of any blue pills yet as they sound big and hard on yet another song about what makes the world go round… sex! This one is classic Bon Scott meets Krokus that will have fans of the band pumping their fist in –and out- of the air. This version sounds as 'new' as the original!
If you forced me to choose a few, I would say the best three cover songs are “Tie Your Mother Down,” “Quinn the Eskimo” and “Whole Lotta Love.” Marc and band have a true love for Led Zep that is apparent during this tune! They handpicked these classics. If they do the cover-gig again, then this writer suggests Nazareth’s “Hair of the Dog” and “Twisted Sister’s “I Wanna Rock”... but until that happens, these tracks will do just fine.
At the end of the day, remake albums are usually a novelty that are kind of boring. Not this one. Let it be known that Big Rocks has “No fillers… no ballads… and no bullshit!”
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