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Krokus - Hoodoo

by Kevin Wierzbicki

I can clearly remember the first time I ever heard Krokus. It was back in the early '80s and my buddy and I had our heads under the hood of his old Chevy, ostensibly giving the thing a tune-up. But with our shirts off and some extra Bud in the cooler just in case, we were really trying to catch the eye of any of the hot chicks that lived in his apartment complex. Then it happened, something that made us stop everything and stare at the boom box in disbelief. Our local "Album Oriented Rock" station had just put on, for the first time, what would be a short-lived radio hit for Krokus, "Long Stick Goes Boom." Full of raging guitar licks and horny braggadocio, the song fit our mood perfectly. At the time we mistook the song for new AC/DC but we soon got that sorted out and we also quickly appropriated the title and all its possible interpretations as our favorite catch phrase. If we saw a sexy girl it was "my, my; long stick goes boom!" The phrase took on a violent meaning, though, whenever we encountered someone we didn't like---"long stick goes BOOM!" I don't remember what we replaced the song with but after about six months we abandoned our Krokus-love for something else and apparently so did every other rock fan in the States since the Swiss band hasn't made anything go boom ever since. Now the original line up is back after a twenty-year hiatus with a surprisingly strong set. The band hasn't changed their style; singer Marc Storace still sounds like AC/DC singer Brian Johnson and you could be forgiven for hearing any of the eleven tracks here and thinking you were listening to the Aussie rockers. Hoodoo starts off with the sexual innuendo of "Drive It In" then heads down Louisiana way for the buzzing swamp rocker "Hoodoo Woman." A scary moment comes after that when the band turns in a so-so cover of Steppenwolf's "Born to Be Wild," indicating that maybe they're out of ideas by the album's third song. Thankfully that turns out not to be the case as the band rebounds with "Ride Into the Sun" a slow simmerer that recalls Def Leppard. But mostly the guys do what they do best, knock-off AC/DC. Sure it's derivate but it's also damn good; Hoodoo is full of mindless, crank-the-volume rockers with titles like "In My Blood" and "Rock-n-Roll Handshake." It's not quite "Long Stick Goes Boom" but then again that old Chevy isn't running anymore either.

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