Hardcore Superstar – Abrakadabra (2022)

Hardcore Superstar are a band that I like, and have liked for some time now.  I don’t love them, but I like them, and will always check out their new music, while occasionally digging in to their older material.  

On their 12th studio album, “Abrakadabra” the Gothenburg rockers failed to instantly grab my attention.  Stay with me though, because upon further listening, I became hooked on this record, unlike any Hardcore Superstar record before it. 

Sometimes you just have to take the time to let an album grow on you, and I’m glad I took the time on this one.  

While Hardcore Superstar have hovered on the edge of metal in the past, this record is a much more strait forward hard rock outing, and it’s a vibe that they’re pulling off really well.  From the massive chorus of the opening title track, to the driving riffs, this song is a great way to open the album, and could be an excellent opener in the live setting.  

“Influencer” takes a shot at all of the social media influencers of the modern world.  With lyrics such as “if you pay my bills, I’ll post a pic of my breakfast” it’s completely realistic in its observations.  Set to a backdrop of big riffs, great leads and pounding rhythms, it was this track that made me sit up and take notice.  

“Forever and a Day” and “Weep When You Die” are more of the same, big riffs, big choruses and plenty of gang vocals – if you have been reading Noise Pollution, you should know by now that I’m a sucker for a big gang vocal.  

“Give Me A Smile” again offers big riffs and bold choruses.  The formula has worked so far, so why mess with it, right?  In fact, all tracks offered are cut from the same mould really, but not in any way that gets boring or stale.  After I got past that first listen, it became seriously easy to engage with.  

“Catch Me If You Can” may be the most standout track, with its faster, harder edge.  The guitars are the star here, and again, the massive chorus.  I could see my self getting a little wild to this one in a live crowd (well, as wild as a middle aged motherfucker with a couple of shitty knees can get…).

“One For All” could make its home in a dark Aussie pub.  The kind where you stick to the floor if you stand in one place for too long.  It’s an anthem to be sure.  

“Dreams in Red” starts off with the obligatory ballad feel, but very soon settles in to an immense groove.  The vocals in the versus are snarled at the listener, while the choruses are big time sing along deals.  Another highlight for me. 

The final two songs, “Throw A Brick” and “Fighter” are worlds apart.  The former is a hard rock by numbers track, while the latter is the ballad that we knew had to be coming.  It’s a song about perseverance, and while it perhaps could have appeared earlier in the running order, it’s a really strong song, and a fitting way to close the record. 

So, I almost wrote this album off after only one listen.  Take it from me, if you’re not into it the first time, give it another go – you won’t regret it.  


Shayne McGowan. 

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