I’ll be honest and upfront here right from the start (actually, I’m normally ALWAYS honest, but a lot of what follows really needs that disclaimer).
I didn’t like Hardcore Superstar all that much.
Their debut album, ‘Bad Sneakers and a Pina Colada’, had a cool title but kinda passed me by, and after that, their sound just seemed a bit ‘dated’. I always looked at them and thought ‘The Eighties are gone – get over it’.
The Sunset strip died a LONG time ago.
Crue are still touring, just.
Gun’s n Roses aren’t touring, even if Axl says they are. (BITE ME!)
Ratt & Cinderella have reformed for god knows what reason.
If Aerosmith imploded any more spectacularly, they’d leave a black hole.
What I’m trying to say here is this: the people they shared a genre with, they sort of tripped and fell. Quite badly in some cases.
I don’t think it helped that Steel Panther have basically thrown open the curtains and shown everyone how easy the Glam thing was.
Hardcore Superstar haven’t been away, their last album was both well received by fans and (Axl – this bit’s aimed at you) only released last year. so no lengthy gaps to explain either.
So while this isn’t a band with anything to prove, they don’t really have that much to lose either. They pretty much own the genre right now. (Steel Panther don’t count)
However, just to be contrary, ‘Split Your Lip’ is actually pretty good. And that’s coming from a non-fan, remember.
There’s still the swagger of Crue or GnR, but it hasn’t been polished to an inch of its life. It’s rough, and sounds a little cheap. And it sounds perfect. You half expect the CD to be a little sticky, and the inlay card to be a bit damp and covered in Jack Daniels and cigarette ash. It feels like it was recorded in a grimey night club. And it makes you want to go and find one, no matter what time of day it is.
The band say it was recorded live, and it does feel like the four of them are facing each other while they ran through the 12 songs that make up the album. Sounds like they were grinning while they did it too.
Of the tracks ‘Sadistic girls’ and ‘Last call for alcohol’ are the sort of thing Crue wish they could still write: mischievous anthems about the wrong sort of fun. Actually, that’s a theme here: ‘Moonshine’ is a glammy monster, the sort of song a lot of my earliest hangovers started off as.
First time I listened to the album, it sort of fizzled out in the middle – acoustic number ‘Here comes the sick bitch’ is just that little bit Bon Jovi. On a second listen though, it’s SO MUCH better than anything that little assgoblin could come up with – even the birdsong at the end, while it’s obviously tacked on, just WORKS.
There’s even the obligatory grand piano ballad. Yeah, it’s a cliché, but it’s still kinda cool too.
When you’ve given this a decent (and open minded listen) you’ll probably start wondering why you don’t own leather trousers, and whether you really can pull off a ll off a leopardskin bandana.
After a couple of spins, I’m converted. That’s pretty unusual for a band on album number EIGHT. I’ll probably give their other stuff a listen if I find a minute. However, this one will probably end up in the car. The place most albums want to end up in.
Glam metal may well be dying on its arse right now, but Hardcore Superstar have stolen its wallet and are off buying whiskey. Go join them. You’ll have fun. You just won’t remember all of it.
Released 27/11/10 on Nuclear Blast