Hardcore Superstar - Hardcore Superstar
Up until now I have always looked at Hardcore Superstars with huge sceptics; I've only really liked one of their songs (the smash-hit "Someone Special") and mostly remember their negative headlines, for example a rumoured fist-fight with one of Sweden's most high-profile journalists. Safe to say, I didn't exactly mourn when they decided to split up about a year ago.
But then something happened, and the Gothenburg-based rockers got the urge to play again. Last fall they shipped out their self-titled fourth album, which received excellent reviews in the press. I decided to give it a listen, and the rest is, as they say, history. Isn't it remarkable how one album can just turn your prejudices upside down?
The opener "Kick On The Upperclass" instantly establishes that these guys nowadays are indeed not only superstars, but also hardcore. An adorable moog-synthesizer sets the mood before a surprisingly crunchy metal-riff takes over proceedings. And when the vocalist Jocke Berg (not to be confused the front man of stadium-rockers Kent) shows what he's made of in the chorus, all the grudge I've had against this band in the past is forgotten.
While no other songs match the intensity of the opener, there are several that are worth mentioning. The first single "Wild Boys" (not a cover of the famous Duran Duran-hit) might prove a bit too silly to be mentioned as a favourite, but "We Don't Celebrate Sundays" is a whole other story. The guitar-riff that pushes the song forward is top-quality all the way through, and the addictive chorus has the word "classic" written all over it.
Sometimes you have no other choice but to swallow your pride and confess that you were wrong earlier on. And while 49 minutes of sleaze metal might be too much at times, this album never really looses its momentum, especially as it signs off with the delicious semi-ballad "Standin' On The Verge". One thing is for certain; these guys are definitely standing on the verge - of a big breakthrough!