As most readers already know, the renaissance of sleaze/glam rock began in Scandinavia, generally in Sweden, but elsewhere as well. Hardcore Superstar is another addition to this increasingly growing fold. Like cousins Backyard Babies, Vains of Jenna, The Poodles and others, their style conforms to hard driving songs sex, drugs and rock and roll with raw vocals, a tight rhythm section, and quick guitar solos. So, in the sense, Hardcore Superstar is not breaking any new ground here. What they are doing is performing this still with skillful musicianship and slick production. 'Dreamin' In A Casket' is one of the best sounding albums I have heard in this genre.
Listening to 'Dreamin' In A Casket' makes you feel that you're back in time on Sunset Boulevard or in the Whiskey, circa 1985. I believe Hardcore Superstar would feel at home there. They play a bit harder and with more intensity then some of the bands of that day. Imagine Motley Crue playing with more enthusiasm and less alcohol and I think you have Hardcore Superstar. Jocke Berg bursts with intensity, his voice is strong whether screaming or toning down. Thomas Silver plays tight versatile guitar licks throughout. Martin Sandvik (bass) and Magnus "ADDE" Andreasson (drums) pose a formidable rhythm section threat.
On top of all this, the songs are pretty darn good; there isn't much room for pause here as Hardcore Superstar presses hard and fast from the first song. Here are some highlights. 'Medicate Me' is rock and roll, plain and simple. The title track uses a strong rhythmic intro to a deliver a song with a near Aerosmith vibe. 'Spreadin' The News' has a contagious drum opening only to be equaled by Silver's slick riffs. 'Wake Up Dead In A Garbagecan' is shear sleaze excess; hard, dirty and pulsing; Mr. Silver out does himself in his solo. 'Sensitive To The Light' as another song that displays the brilliant skills of Mr. Andreasson. Silver's guitar is not quite as piercing as on previous songs, but when you get to his final solo he burns along like Slash. 'No Resistance,' the final track, is probably what you feel when you see them live: this is a full frontal, balls-to-wall,' sonic attack. There were certainly some songs I could do without namely, 'Silence For The Peacefully' and 'This Is For The Mentally Damaged,' both immensely boring. Otherwise, this is very good work from Hardcore Superstar.
Hardcore Superstar is definitely a force to be reckoned with producing rock with punch and power. Except for my caveats about a few songs, my only wish is that they would also take a cue from the eighties band and give us slow, gut wrenching ballad more often. But hey, what they're doing now is mighty fine stuff. Very recommended!
- Craig Hartranft
Hardcore Superstar delivers high intensity rock and roll in the vein of Eighties sleaze rock and hair metal. From beginning to end, the pace is hard and fast. The band is tight and skillful, a welcome edition to this growing genre.