Hardcore Superstar has stayed true to their format for ten years now. They keep it up on HCSS, but maybe not to same level as before. The sound is pretty much the same as before, so are the topics and imagery. But something is lacking on HCSS, something that used to be their strength; fun.
HCSS is in a lot of ways what you would expect from Hardcore Superstar. They wear their GnR influences on their sleeve and play hard throughout. Don’t Mean Shit is a solid opener, with high energy and some quality riffing. I’ve noticed that Vic Zino gets a lot flack on different forums, but he seems to be more than capable to wreck guitar havoc. Don’t Mean Shit, Glue and The Ocean are perfect examples of keeping it simple, real, thunderous and cool. Sometimes less truly is more, at least when it comes down to this kind of easy going, party rock n roll.
I like that they are free enough in their creative process to make songs like Fly, a slow song that just kind of flows silently on a little stream through a quiet Swedish landscape, as viewed by stoned Swedish rocker dreaming of Planet Caravan. I don’t personally care too much for the song, because it’s too repetitive and drags out something fierce, but just the fact that they have the balls to do it, is admirable.
The song I enjoyed the most are The Ocean, except for the piss pore intro. The Cemetery is also a good song. Messed Up Sure could have been a classic, but the vocal melody doesn’t quite hold up. Glue is fun and very true to their format. Off With Their Heads is more metal than I’m used to form these guys, but that’s not a negative.
My main issue with this album is that it’s not as much fun and feel-good as I want it to be. It’s hard put my finger on just what makes it so, but it’s like something is missing from the mix. Inspiration? Patience? Time? I don’t know, but this might be their weakest output since 2001. Maybe it’s time to change things up a bit? Do an Opeth and make an album of ballads, no? Do something.
They have the attitude and I still enjoy the music, it’s just not their best work, that’s all.
Recommended downloads: the Ocean, Messed Up For Sure, Don’t Mean Shit