The Gothenburg, Sweden, based Hardcore Superstar is nothing of what the name suggests. The aggressive “hardcore” genre we sometimes hear in metal is something completely different when compared to what Hardcore Superstar makes. With their so-called “Street Metal” these Swedes have managed to get some great mainstream success. Now they want to go back to their roots with the release of their tenth record ‘HCSS’.
Between 1998 and 2008 Hardcore Superstar managed to get some serious mainstream success. With multiple Grammy nominations in Sweden and quite a lot of #1 hits in the Swedish album charts. For some reason the band has also got a strange bond with Japan. Right from the start this band has released special Japanese editions, covered a track of Hanoi Rocks and went on tour to Japan.
If you want to define the music that Hardcore Superstar makes, you have to dig quite deep. There is a great deal of Glam-Metal, like the old Skid Row, in this album. As well as the happiness that comes with the, more recent rock band, Steel Panther. Finally, mix in some punk-rock elements and that combination is the essence of ‘HCSS’.
Opener ‘Don’t Mean Shit’ has the classic punk-like influences that we have heard so many times before. A great deal of bands has tried (and succeeded) in combining punk with rock and metal. The track is also the first official single, which might not have been the right choice. It is quite the catchy track, but by far the best and most interesting track. That also goes for the second one ‘Party Till I’m Gone’. An unimpressive rock song with the usual “party till we drop” lyrics.
‘HCSS’ gets more interesting when you get to the third track ‘The Cemetery’. An acoustic guitar leads us into a very catchy and poppy track. It has a brilliant sing-a-long refrain that will probably haunt your memories quite some time. Another of those interesting tracks is ‘The Ocean’, on which the punk elements are mixed very well with the more relaxed rock elements.
‘Growing Old’ has an amazing, spacey intro, but that doesn’t return in any way in the rest of the track. A real shame.
‘HCSS’ is a fun record to listen to. It contains some very good tracks and elements, but the overall album isn’t a brilliant piece of work. If you like the earlier work of Hardcore Superstar, you might like this record, a lot. For a band that’s around quite as long as Hardcore Superstar you might have expected a little bit more.
- Don’t Mean Shit
- Party ‘Til I’m Gone
- The Cemetary
- Off With Their Heads
- The Ocean
- Touch The Sky
- Growing Old
- Messed Up For Sure