Krokus-Rock the Block
© 2003 Warner Music Switzerland
Stretcher-Heart Of Bombs (ep)
            © 2003 Stretcher Music
You know, I was remembering back quite a few years ago. I remember wondering who Krokus was and after asking a few people the conclusion was this band out of Switzerland that leaned a bit heavy to AC/DC. While in some cases in their past it was true, there were others where the band really laid that to rest i.e. 'Headhunter'. Well, this album is definitely gonna have those same people singing that AC/DC vibe. That's not a bad thing either. This album is very well put together with some of it dipping into the Aussie's rhythm machine. There are also other areas where it sounds like classic Krokus from say the 'One Vice At A Time' era with an updated sound. The album never gets overly heavy and tends to keep it safe. Marc Storace recorded with the band a few years back, but then took absence. For me, Krokus is not Krokus without Storace. You can replace certain members, but singers are harder to replace successfully. Well, Marc is back and quite frankly has never sounded better. His voice has aged well in time and will amaze the fans at how youthful he comes across. As far as the album overall, the music is very catchy and mid tempo for the most part in nature. Some of the tunes that I think stand out include 'Mad World', 'Leading the Pack', 'Open Fire', 'Looking to America', 'Throwing her China', and 'Rock the Block'. Fans will definitely dig the Bon Scott soundalike vocals from Storace in a few places. I know I did.

As for right now, here is the bad news. This album is a bit hard to get. It's not available at the time of this review in the States, but who knows, maybe in time. While it's not the bands best effort, it's far from the worst. Actually, it's pretty damn good in my opinion. Anytime I hear that Storace is back, I'm on it as quick as I can. It's always nice to see a band that made a serious mark in the 80's still offer up some good rock and roll. Definitely have to recommend it!

For more info: Krokus Official Website
This ep came to me out of the blue. Opened up the mailbox and there it was. In a nutshell, Stretcher is an aggressive modern metal band. The band lean to many influences, but would probably be considered more hardcore than anything. Aggressive vocals and hard driving rhythms will definitely give you a pounding. The ep has 4 tracks on it and could be considered a sampler with more to come in the future. The tracks are all similar in terms of consistency, but vary a bit in mood and feel. If I was to describe what I feel the heart of the bands sound would be, it would be rhythm guitar oriented. My taste doesn't necessarily include hardcore, but I think these guys will be a band to watch in the future of the rising hardcore season. They definitely have their chops down.

A good sampler for fans of hardcore metal. The band deliver up some good rhythm work and will kick your teeth in with the attitude alone. You can definitely hear a variety of influence but the overall picture is obvious. There are 2 bands with the name of Stretcher. Be sure to use the link below for more information on this particular band

For more info:  Stretcher Official Website