Pleasant but pointless.
The most interesting thing about Big Rocks, the new covers album from Swiss hard rock monolith Krokus, is the excellent little one-minute-sixteen-second distillation of Black Sabbath’s NIB, which someone has had the great idea of turning into a mini-overture to open proceedings.
After that, it’s a self-indulgent – as these ‘look at our influences!!’ type albums are always going to be – trek through the songs from the sixties and seventies that made Marc Storace and company the men they are today; Queen, Steppenwolf, Led Zeppelin, The Who and the Rolling Stones are all present and correct, as you’d expect, although the first burning question that springs to my mind as someone who has had an on-off relationship with the band for thirty-odd years is ‘wot? No AC/DC? no Judas Priest? Surely some mistake’…
Storace is in fine voice as ever – he really is one of hard rock’s more underrated vocalists – and he’s wisely picked tracks that suit his gritty, foghorn style. The two track inclusions that might surprise you here – Neil Young’s Rockin’ in the Free World and Manfred Mann’s Quinn the Eskimo both fare well, especially the former, but Krokus are a professional outfit and really to expect anything less would be a bit odd. However, another question that springs to mind whilst listening to Big Rocks is ‘does anyone really need to hear another interpretation of House of the Rising Sun or Born to Be Wild, no matter how earnestly delivered?’ I’m leaning towards ‘no’ on that one.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this release, in terms of sound, or execution, or sentiment – but there’s also absolutely no need to recommend it to you unless you are a raving Krokus completist.