Change of Address: Krokus

Rating: 50%

Change_cover.jpgIn 1986, during the rise of Glam and Hair Metal, Krokus released their ninth record. I think that Krokus was more or less trying to jump on the band wagon of the Pop music disguising it as Glam Rock. I don’t think this experiment worked at all.

Musically, this album has it moments, but it’s rather shapeless and can be a tad bit bland. There is no drive to it. Words can not describe the opening Pop sounding drum intro to the entire album with song number one. After the band comes in, it’s almost as if I was listening to the soundtrack of “Top Gun.” So, Krokus fans beware, this album is a Pop Rock mixed with Glam Rock album from start to finish. Lot’s of keyboards effects and ballads.

The musicianship for being what the music is, is good. I will admit that. Marc Storace’s vocals are good. The riffs are a bit weak, but the guitars of Fernando von Arb and Mark Kohler is OK. The rest of the rhythm section consisting of bassist Tommy Keiser and drummer Jeff Klaven provides the necessary tempo and melody to make this album work. 

Track listing:

Side one

“Now (All Through the Night)” – 4:23
“Hot Shot City” – 3:48
“School’s Out” (Alice Cooper) – 3:16
“Let This Love Begin” – 5:02
“Burning Up the Night”  – 3:46

Side two

“Say Goodbye” – 5:18
“World on Fire” – 6:12
“Hard Luck Hero” – 4:12
“Long Way from Home” – 5:06

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Vixen: Vixen

Rating: 85%

R-2005870-1371458879-8701.jpeg.jpgI remember when Vixen released their debut in 1988. I must admit, I thought Vixen was a good band. They proved that girls could rock as hard as dudes. So, when I caught wind of this band in one of the Heavy Metal magazines, I was like “Damn!” The music of Vixen, although, was along the lines of Glam/Hair Metal, I thought was a good band.

The musicianship of lead vocalist & rhythm guitarist Janet Gardner, lead guitarist Jan Kuehnemund, bassist Share Pedersen, and drummer Roxy Petrucci was outstanding. Janet Gardner’s vocals were amazing. She had and still has the range. Jan Kuehnemund provides some killer riffs as well as some kick ass leads. The drumming and bass are good as well.

Musically, the overall sound was crisp and clean. It was very polished and at times could even have a strong Pop sound to the music. “I Want You To Rock Me” and “Cryin'” are good examples of that.  “Edge Of A Broken Heart” by Richard Marx was made popular by the band. Other songs put in mind of the Runaways or early Lita Ford. Also, some of the songs have a ballad structure. Most of the songs are based upon a much mid level tempo. Other songs are built around more of a Hard Rock structure than Heavy Metal.

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So, if you like 1980’s Heavy Metal or Hard Rock, Vixen may be a good band for you to check out. I can honestly say, Vixen is one of those underrated bands and I am glad to see that the band, for the most part, is still performing.

Track listing:

Edge Of A Broken Heart 4:22
I Want You To Rock Me 3:28
Cryin’ 3:32
American Dream 4:17
Desperate 4:17
One Night Alone 3:48
Hell Raisers 4:25
Love Made Me 3:16
Waiting 3:09
Cruisin’ 4:23

Invasion Of Your Privacy: Ratt

Rating: 80%

RattInvasionI hated most of the Hair Metal bands of the 1980’s as I thought the style and music was basically fake and full of posers. But some of the bands did stick out to me that were decent, including Motley Crue, Guns N’ Roses, L.A. Guns, and yes, Ratt…or at least this album. And by the way, the cover model is Playboy mate, Marianne Gravatte. 

This second album by Ratt is pretty good. It has plenty of good moments, even the semi-ballad “Closer to My Heart” is OK. Even though, I hated most of those love ballads by these Hair/Glam bands. The album has a nice flow to it, some good melodies, riffs, and yes, the classic Hair Metal style leads and solos.

The musicianship isn’t bad at all. Stephen Pearcy’s raspy vocal style is what sets this band apart from those others. There is no one that could even come close to sounding like him. Then you have the duel shock of guitars by Robbin Crosby and Warren DeMartini, who throw out the mighty riffs and leads. Surprisingly, Juan Croucier bass is right there and is clearly heard as he sets the timing right along with drummer Bobby Blotzer. 

The album opens with the killer song “You’re in Love.” To me, this song should have been a number one hit, as it is nothing more than pure Heavy Metal. “Lay It Down” is more or less one of those songs, even though it charted, was more of the same style as the rest of the Hair Metal bands. But, it’s not a bad song, just isn’t what I thought would have been a charter. In fact the majority of this album follows the same style as “Lay It Down.” There is some filler, but that is expected. “Between the Eyes” to me is another song that I don’t understand why it charted, to me that is a filler song as is “What You Give Is What You Get.” But hey, this is what those crazy long haired fist throwers wanted and that is what they got. All and all, this album is a well done album. I was lucky enough to get this as a teenager on vinyl for like .25c at a pawnshop when CD was getting to be popular.

Track listing:

1. “You’re in Love” 3:12
2. “Never Use Love”  3:54
3. “Lay It Down” 3:23
4. “Give It All”3:19
5. “Closer to My Heart” 4:30
Side two
6. “Between the Eyes” 3:54
7. “What You Give Is What You Get” 3:47
8. “Got Me on the Line” 3:04
9. “You Should Know by Now” 3:29
10. “Dangerous but Worth the Risk” 3:30