KROKUS now there’s a band worth writing about!
KROKUS being from Switzerland was a group that I had gotten into the early 80’s and that was through my buddy Muc who had gotten a copy of the Metal Rendezvous album. The fact that it was the early 80’s and KROKUS Lead Singer Marc Storace sounded like the Late Great Bon Scott was an added bonus as lot’s of us were scooping up a ton of AC/DC after Back In Black and For Those About To Rock racked up a ton of sales!
So after Metal Rendezvous hit the market whatever these guys put out I bought afterwards. The very AC/DC sounding One Vice at a Time(1982) and the very Judas Priest sounding HeadHunter(1983) where both pretty good albums as it proved KROKUS was on a roll.
Come 1984 though. KROKUS changed up musical gears. They sauntered up to Vancouver B.C and titled their new album The Blitz which was produced by the Late Great Bruce Fairbairn.
A new sound. A new producer and a pretty big overhaul in the lineup of Krokus would signal a different direction in Krokus.
Joining Storace and Guitarist Fernando Von Arb was returning member Mark Kohler and new Drummer Jeff Klaven.
Chris Von Rohr original Bassist was given the boot or quit after the Gold selling Headhunter album while Drummer Steve Pace got canned as well.
So Rhythm Guitarist Mark Kohler switched to Bass and Jeff Klaven was hired on drums and viola onto Vancouver to Blitz!
Krokus I figure could smell huge success for them brewing in the U.S.A as I had mentioned Headhunter went Gold as well as opening for Def Leppard on Lep’s Pyromania Tour until some wonky shit went down with the Headliner and Krokus got the boot off the tour!(something to do with the managers of both bands getting into a backstage tussle)
So with that I guess Marc and Fernando went about writing a more streamlined Hard Rock Record that would fit in with the times!
The Blitz is more of a commercial Hard Rock album. Headhunter was a heavy record for the most part and had a heavier sound especially with Tom Allom producing Headhunter.
Fairbairn as we all know knew how to bring out the Hard Rock in artists but also with an ear towards getting the tracks on the radio.
Midnite Manaic first track and lead off single off The Blitz takes you only about 10 seconds to realize that this is a different KROKUS from the one a year earlier. Midnite Maniac about a crazy chick after dudes or something to that effect. that. Straight ahead Simple Simon Rock.
That is basically the template of this album. Straight ahead rock tracks and of course that style slips right into second track Out of Control.
Boys Nite Out was written with a couple of guys you may have heard and that is Bryan Adams & Jim Vallance. The chorus of this track has Jim and Bryans writing style all over it. Not a bad track really. Totally made for radio and in saying that I don’t think it was ever realeased as a single or maybe it was.
While the slow moody Screaming for the Night worked for Krokus on Headhunter they try to go for the throat on Our Love. This tune is Krokus 101 going for the American Payday in Balladville! Kinda comes up short as It’s Krokus trying waaaaay too hard. Didn’t really buy into this track at the time of its release back in 1984 and in 2018 my thoughts are still the same!
What a great title in Out To Lunch which kinda creeps around in the AC/DC neighbourhood of riffs n roll! Big backing vocals and this one is a decent end of Side 1 track.
Ballroom Blitz was recorded live in the studio as this tune ditches the gloss hard rock production and is a pretty decent cover. Kinda Sloppy. Kinda Cool. Course this cover is from Sweet! Sing along Kids you know it…It’s It’s It’s A Ballroom Blitz! Fernando plays a loud guitar on this one!
Rock The Nation is a no brainer rock track. You know the deal Krokus is going to show up to your town. Kick you in the Ass and split! For simple corny like Rock-O-Holic lyrics look no further than this track!
Ahhh. How about some Hot Stuff? Considering the title you would think it would be a total crazy Backstage Rock Track. Hot Stuff goes the exact opposite way. More of a ballad like with a boot in the ass from Klaven’s Drums! Von Arb tosses down a pretty decent solo as well.
Ready To Rock ends The Blitz. Simple song. Simple lyrics. Simple AC/DC like end of the album song. No Rocket Science approach in this tune. Get Ready To Rock…. Um Ok!
This album was my first ever purchase of a Bruce Fairbairn produced album. Considering The Blitz came out a full two years before Fairbairn hit the Jack Pot with Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet you can hear by this album how Bruce loved those big catchy like backing chorus’s and used them on a lot of his records.
The production is top-notch on The Blitz.
The Blitz went Gold in Canada and the U.S but by 1986 I lost faith in these guys and so did many others as Krokus and their creative Gas Tank went empty and that was it for all the momentum they had going for them.
The Blitz is a decent listen though. It brought back a bunch of memories especially after the release of this album as I caught them when they opened for Samuel Hagar on his V.O.A Tour and Krokus delivered it that night in Duluth.