Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Hardcore Superstar - C'Mon Take On Me

Genre - Hard Rock / Sleaze
Label - Nuclear Blast

Track listing:

01. Cutting The Slack

02. C'mon Take On Me
03. One More Minute
04. Above The Law
05. Are You Gonna Cry Now
06. Stranger Of Mine
07. Won't Take The Blame pt. 1
08. Won't Take The Blame pt. 2 (Sect Meeting)
09. Dead Man's Shoes
10. Because Of You
11. Too Much Business
12. Long Time No See

Swedish hard rock / sleazsters return with their nineth album in the form of C'mon Take On Me.With a style defined by the press as 'Street Metal' and tagged as 'Swedish sleaze rock' Hardcore Superstar made a name of themselves in Europe. Yet even after eight previous albums, Hardcore Superstar are band that are still groing and developing, with these sleazsters somewhat loosing their sleaze and adopting a more polished eighties hard rock vibe.
With a musical orientation that slightly started to change with the previous CD, this brand new work from the band covers many spectres of more classic Hard Rock from both sides of the Atlantic ocean.
Assisted and helped by the intuitive production and mix by Randy Staub (Motley Crue, Bon Jovi, Bryan Adams, Metallica's Black Album) Hardcore Superstar now sounds polished and commercial than never before.
Some may argue they had lost the 'attakk' attitude, that certain rawness in the music that made Hardcore Superstar so special,but to me, it's a big step in a the right direction for the band, as the sleaze sub-genre has been turned a bit repetitive in general, and this new more 'classic' hard, melodic hard rock approach fits them like a glove, yet the band have not, thankfully, become another band turning out hard rock by numbers tracks.
"Cutting the Slack" isn't your usual way to start a Hard Rock album. This instrumental looks like an intro but its length (over 2 min.) turns it as a standalone track. No guitars, no crashing drums; it's like a lullaby, mysterious, almost creepy sounds. Really interesting.
Title track"C'mon Take On Me" then explodes in your speakers like a chinese fireworks party... great effect. This short, impactful catchy roused number will rock your socks off!
The killer, commercial "One More Minute" is awesome. Structurally is a bluesy melodic hard rocker but wrapped by a ecstatic production. I hear some Aerosmith in the foundation, just think '87 Tesla but with a modern, glossy, processed production and some massive backing vocals.
Next, "Above The Law" is another winner. It's an infectious little song that will lift your ass off the couch in no time. Catchy as hell, it has all the fire and effervescence that Wig Wam seems had lost. Just listen those punctuating guitars ala '83 Def Leppard.
"Are You Gonna Cry Now?" is a quite modern uptempo rocker with some nineties Motly Crue yet more atmospheric.
Hardcore Superstar then surprises with the moody, Americanized acoustic driven "Stranger of Mine". Quite simply one of the best songs that I have heard in years!
"Won't Take the Blame Pt. 1" and its "Pt. 2" coda delivers American post-sleazy stylized hard rock, think the adult Guns 'N Roses of Use Your Illusion, yet with even more polished production.
The uptempo "Dead Man's Shoes" is just a fun and contagious rocker in the Reckless Love vein (love the vintage solo), while on "Because of You" is the only track where some sleaze/street hard emerges a little, and among the rest of the songs this sounds like a nice variation than an example of the band's primal style.
I'd said variation? Another hint that this album is inspired by classic acts follows. Put yourself in the slightly surreal situation that AC/DC wake up one morning and realize 'damn guys, it's 2013, let's write a modern song but with our signature'. The song would probably sound like "Too Much Business". Close to the Australians 'Who Made Who' more polished years, this track is a true energy boost.
Final number "Long Time No See" is a monster mid-tempo semi-ballad akin '80s Def Leppard, with a fantastic refrain and a very classic chorus. I love this stuff.
"C'mon Take On Me" is a great album, from a band treading new ground and forging a new path for themselves in an ever changing musical universe.There is not a single weak track on this album. It's catchy, it's melodic, it's modern and classy inspired at the same time.
Highly Recommended.

Rating 10/10

Hardcore Superstar are -
Joakim "Jocke" Berg (Lead and Backing Vocals)
Martin Sandvick (Bass, Backing Vocals)
Magnus "Adde" Andreasson (Drums, Backing Vocals)
Vic Zino (Guitars, Backing Vocals)

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