What should we make of Hardcore Circus? Another Swedish/Scandi super group? Well, you're damn close. Here's the curricula vitae: Joakim Bloohm (Randy Piper's Animal), Nalley Pahlsson (Treat, Therion, Last Autumn's Dream, Vindictiv), C.J. Grimmark (Narnia, Rob Rock), Mats Leven (Yngwie J Malmsteen, Therion, Treat, Swedish Erotica). Holy shit! Should we be impressed? I hope so, but I'm not entirely convinced.
I've listened to Wake Up Call under a variety of circumstances: on a five mile walk, waiting for jury duty, and at Dangerdog HQ. Frankly, while I've enjoyed every listen, nothing sticks. Wake Up Call could best me described as melodic heavy rock with a strong metal edge. Songs like She Goes On, Tattooed Junkie, and the title track are convincing numbers melding the heavy with the melodic. Basically, Hardcore Circus is kicking ass and taking names. Who I Am, Queen of Dirt, and the milder Miracle draw you in with some friendly catchiness. But after three (or more) significant listens, I can't point to a single song, with the possible exception of Who I Am, that truly stands out.
Do these observations make Wake Up Call a bad album? Hardly. This is a solid band with strong contributions from every member, and singular kudos go to C.J. Grimmark' sound guitar work. Ultimately, however, I'm ambivalent to Hardcore Circus' Wake Up Call. You need to experience it for yourself.
Is Hardcore Circus' Wake Up Call a bad album? Hardly. This is a solid band with strong contributions from every member, and singular kudos go to C.J. Grimmark' sound guitar work. Ultimately, however, I'm ambivalent to Hardcore Circus' Wake Up Call. You need to experience it for yourself.
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