Hardcore Superstar: You Can’t Kill My Rock ‘n Roll – album review

Hardcore Superstar
Hardcore Superstar - You Can't Kill My Rock n Roll

You Can’t Kill My Rock ‘n Roll

GAIN Entertainment

Available now

8.5/10

Swedish hard rockers Hardcore Superstar return with their eleventh studio offering, You Can’t Kill My Rock ‘n Roll. It’s a continuation of their story, this isn’t a band that’s playing at rock ‘n roll, this is their lifestyle and it shows through in the music they produce. You can smell the rock ‘n roll even on the digital download.

Let’s get this out of the way, I am a huge fan of HCSS. I love the authenticity, there is nothing made up or false about them, just high energy rock ‘n roll played by a band that absolutely live for this stuff. There is nothing false or manipulative, it’s almost the opposite of today’s social media polished presentation of what a band should be. This is the real deal.

Their last record HCSS back in 2015 wasn’t one of my favourites, I thought it lacked a little of their spark and energy. Very much characteristic of HCSS but not at their best, especially after C’mon Take Me which was stunning. In contrast, You Can’t Kill My Rock ‘n Roll feels like HCSS at their very best. It amplifies where they were in 2013 with C’mon Take Me and just nudges everything up a notch.

The record begins with ADHD, which slams from the outset, fast and energetic and full of HCSS charm. Huge guitar riffs and a sing-a-long chorus, it’s like being plugged into the mains. I imagine this is what every day is like in the HCSS world.

Electric Rider is next up and in a similar vibe, slightly slower but equally as powerful as the first track. There is no doubt that Hardcore Superstar are back on form and full of energy. The album then takes an abrupt change, from the power and energetic ending of Electric Rider into the acoustic intro of My Sanctuary. Not for long though, thirty seconds into the track and Vic Zino’s guitars burst through and whirl into those crunchy riffs that make HCSS sound so good.

The rest of the album continues in the same way, its HCSS party anthems, gorgeous sing-along vocals, epic crunchy guitar riffs and a stunning rhythm section that drives each song along. There is nothing new here, it’s not trying to re-invent something or be unique, it’s a feel good, hard rock album and a really good one. It’s a record that will perk you up, having you singing in the car or getting ready to go out.

Frankly, it’s a really strong record from start to finish. There are no fillers on this one, if you have enjoyed HCSS in the past it’s unlikely that you’ll be reaching for the skip button at any point on this record. Having said that there are some highlights, the obvious one for me is Baboon, which really sums up this record. It’s big, brash and great fun. The most Hardcore Superstar track has to be Bring The House Down though, its a party anthem which is going to be massive in their live show (please come to the UK soon!). My personal favourite is the albums namesake YCKMRNR, which is a huge sounding track from the outset, bouncy rhythm, vibrant guitar and a hook and chorus that were made for screaming. A modern-day anthem.

Trying to sum up Hardcore Superstar’s You Can’t Kill My Rock ‘n Roll, I found myself remembering my favourites from the 1980’s, Cinderella, Poison, Warrant and Motley Crue. HCSS embody everything that these bands did and were at the time, it’s like a condensed history of late 80’s hard rock in one record. I think if you enjoyed music from those bands and that era, you’ll find something here that tickles your fancy here.

The Hardcore Superstar Website is here

Listen on iTunes or YouTube

You can also find Hardcore Superstar on Facebook and Twitter

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All words by Neil Johnson. More writing by Neil Johnson can be found at Neil’s archive. Neil is also on Instagram as @gigtog and has a  website here: http://www.neiljohnsonphotography.uk/

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