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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Krokus – ‘Dirty Dynamite’ album review

Krokus – ‘Dirty Dynamite’ album review
Released on: The End Records. Release date: Available now.
Although Krokus were started originally around the mid-70’s they really didn’t make any significant impact until Marc Storace came onboard prior to the release of their fourth album, ‘Metal Rendez-vous’ album in 1980, which spawned hits such as ‘Bedside Radio,’ ‘Tokyo Nights’ and ‘Heatstrokes.’
It was with this lineup that inroads were made towards the bands varying levels of success.
Honing ‘their’ own take on a sound that made AC/DC such a household name, not to mention a vocalist with a sound very akin to Bon Scott (RIP), they really did start to win over fans around the world.
The follow up album ‘Hardware’ (1981) further established the abilities of Storace, founder Chris von Rohr (Bass/Vocals), guitarists Tommy Kiefer (RIP) and Fernando von Arb and drummer Freddy Steady to co-write themselves into charts everywhere!
Mark Kohler replaced Kiefer for next album ‘One Vice at a Time’ (1982) which included the hit’s ‘Long Stick Goes Boom’ and the band’s take on ‘American Woman,’ originally by The Guess Who.
The album ‘Headhunter’ (1983) next, included guest appearances from Rob Halford (Judas Priest) and Jimi Jamison (Survivor) and became the band’s first gold certified album in the US and has since become platinum, helped significantly no doubt by the success of single ‘Screaming in the Night’ and plenty of MTV and radio play.
Steve Pace replaced drummer Freddy Steady, who’d been with the band since 1977.
‘The Blitz’ (1984) seemed to gain the band possibly their greatest North American success with a hit single in ‘Midnite Maniac’ as well as the band’s cover of The Sweet’s ‘Ballroom Blitz’ picking up plenty of airplay too.
Lineup changes continued as well, for subsequent releases ‘Change of Address,’ ‘Heart Attack,’ ‘Stampede,’ ‘To Rock or Not To Be,’ ‘Round 13,’ ‘Rock The Block’ and ‘Hellraiser.’
In 2010 the reunited ‘classic’ lineup of Krokus released ‘Hoodoo,’ which sadly had no impact in the US, but still achieved reasonable success in Europe including #1 in their native Switzerland.
So now we get ‘Dirty Dynamite,’ which although it is not the classic lineup, it's close with all but Tommy Kiefer involved, as he sadly passed away in 1986. 
Mandy Meyer (Asia) once again returns to the band on this album, he had originally stepped into Krokus on the bands 'Hardware' tour, when Kiefer quit the band around that time.
He had first officially recorded with the band on their 2006 'Hellraiser' release.
Meyer was out again though in 2008 when the original lineup of the band joined forces once more and as previously mentioned they released 'Hoodoo' in 2010, sans Meyer ...
So ....

'Dirty Dynamite' is a very good album indeed, with perhaps one ‘strange’ track included, but I can understand why they’ve done it …, I suppose.
The album – I’m sorry, but … - has an awful cover picture of a bulldog, with shades on and a cigarette hanging out the side of its mouth, sitting in what appears to be a shady back street alley. That said, don’t let that put you off getting this album, as it’s a very strong release indeed.
My thoughts on the cover folks, that's all ....
  Opener ‘Hallelujah Rock ‘n’ Roll’ is a great rocking opener and truly sounds like classic Bon Scott era AC/DC, I mean seriously Marc Storace’s voice sounds more like Bon than it ever has before!
It does however open with a dog growl, then it kicks in with a great groove and a very strong chorus line. Killer opener! Nice return to form!
‘Go Baby Go’ follows in similar style to many an AC/DC track, even a nod to Status Quo possibly too, with a sub underlying almost ‘Caroline’ style riff towards the end of the guitar solo, but nonetheless totally enjoyable stuff indeed!
This one is the chosen media favourite track here in the States right now.
‘Rattlesnake Rumble’ is kind of ZZ Top meets Status Quo and it’s a fun bluesy jam. Nothing too fancy, which is perfect.
Down and dirty rockin’ 12 bar blues with a simple yet strong chorus, same as with ‘Go Baby Go.’ It just works so well!
It’s the very ‘Girls Got Rhythm’ like sound that is ‘Let the Good Times Roll’ next. Jamming guitar solo!
Seriously folks, if you have missed Bon Scott, you will love this, Brian Johnson much as I love what he brought to AC/DC can’t come close to what Marc Storace does on perhaps the best album AC/DC didn’t make!
That is with perhaps the exception of the next track, but then you call it folks …
Krokus have decided to cover The Beatles ‘Help’ next and they’ve done it in a ballad style, which actually comes across like Nazareth’s version of ‘Love Hurts.’
It’s OK for me, guess I just prefer their rockin' style.
I don’t know though, did they really need to put a cover song on here?
I just feel that perhaps they got so knocked in the past by folks in some certain rock elements for doing that just a little too much on previous releases, I kind wondered why they would do it again?
I understand that they chose to do so, since all the vocals were recorded at the Abbey Road studio, where the Beatles recorded so many classics.
Here are the facts though, I mean how much attention will this release get, with it being released on a small label and with how much promo behind it that as well, I really don’t know, which is a real shame since this really is a strong release from Krokus.
This album really deserves rock fans attention!!!
‘Better than Sex’ comes next with hints of ‘Sin City’ - How appropriate is that?! - possibly thrown in for good measure and this one is a steady slow grooving rocker, right down to the laid back bridge, that eases back some more then builds back up again and into its original groove. Cool!
Next up the song title reads as ‘Dog Song’ but it has a chorus that really should be titled ‘All Night Long.’
It’s another very AC/DC like grove again and it works!
‘Yellow Mary,’ hmm, not so sure on that song title guys, but the song has a bit of a Quo touch to be honest.
Chorus is a big vocal as it should be, but perhaps the song itself overall is a little average to everything else here.
‘Bailout Blues’ next I feel sounds possibly like a cross between AC/DC and Free, if you can figure that one out.
Strange call I know, but there’s simply no escaping the bands biggest influence throughout – AC/DC – which I’m sure Chris von Rohr would be the first to admit, but there’s like an underlying groove that’s very like Free were back in the day. 
It’s all good though and again, when you think Krokus have been out of the mainstream for so long really, this could really be an album to get them back in the public eye again.
With ‘Live Ma Life’ it is a great grooving riff and this is again serious Bon Scott era AC/DC turf, but with some clever Krokus touches.
Some nice guitar work again as well! Well done guys!
The AC/DC meets Quo touch really applies to ‘Hardrocking Man’ and it’s a true rock ‘n’ roll tune, with typical if a little cheesy lyrics and a seriously basic chorus that just simply repeats the song title over and over, but there’s interesting guitar break not unlike The Shadows to add to making it interesting. 
The title track ‘Dirty Dynamite’ is the album closer the way this copy of the album runs and I can’t help thinking that this whole album is perhaps going to appeal to more European fans than US fans, as the Quo touch is there again, even with some honky-tonk piano as well, but I hope I'm wrong. Fun jam!
The title track was apparently chosen as the leadoff single in Europe and really I could see why and it may well give them a hit again there, who knows? They deserve it by what they’ve done here I believe and maybe if the right folks here in the States hear this, it will get them some attention here too.
Check it out folks, I really enjoyed it, even if the cover tune I’m not 100% convinced about.
 Welcome back to the limelight – Hopefully – Krokus, you’ve got a good one here!
Rating: 4 out of 5
Official Website:
Purchase links:

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Chambers of Rock Site Update - April 2013

Chambers of Rock - April 2013 Site Update.
Hi All,
Well folks, it's been a while since you've seen anything here except for the odd album or DVD review and yes, right now I still am not in a situation where I can provide you all those news updates and press releases that I have done in the past.
All I can say is that I still hope to get that all back on track.
I do this site for the love of the music and to try and plug a number of acts / artists who I feel have for many years worked so hard in the rock industry and deserve more attention ...
I do what I can, even if it is limited.
For all my life outside of playing in and out of rock bands since the age of 15, I have loved rock music and really worked in the world of automotive by day, for the majority of my life.
Working in automotive in the US, compared to the UK is worlds apart, the daily demands are insane, crazy!
I wish I had more time for the site, but I promise you loyal readers this, even if it is limited updates, I will do my utmost to keep this up to date.
I have had interview opportunities that sadly I have had to turn them down, why?
Typing up the interviews takes a ridiculous amount of time and no, voice recognition software does not work, nor it seems does the offer from certain friends and family to help type it up ... It ends up coming back to me to finish.
I try to type up reviews in lunch breaks at work that now seem virtually non-existent.  Sad but true.
I just felt that since many of you have stuck by me, the least I could do was give you an explanation as to where things were at.
I wish I was in L.A. tonight folks, as I was invited to the Heaven + Earth 'Dig' CD launch party and boy, I bet it will be a great show!
Check out the CD review here:
Yesterday I even received an exclusive invitation to attend the first media playback of the new Black Sabbath album '13' also happening this afternoon in Hollywood.
I guess I live in the wrong city ..., sometimes!
I do want to share, stick with me folks, new reviews are coming soon on new releases from Saxon, Krokus and some previously unreleased Jeff Healey material!
Some of my PR contacts remain loyal and will still send me certain releases, thank you folks, you know who you are and I appreciate it and I remain loyal to you guys to in supporting those artists YOU are working hard to promote.
Good job guys!
Thanks again to everyone that has enjoyed C.O.R. and those of you that continue to check back on what is available here!
Work and a busy family life is tough act to balance, then throwing this site in, tougher still, but I'm not a quitter and I WILL persevere, thank you, rock fans everywhere for your loyal support.
Take care and keep on rockin' ... Summer is a comin'!!! :)
Editor / Owner - Chambers of Rock