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Hardcore Superstar - "Beg For It" (CD)

Hardcore Superstar - "Beg For It" CD cover image

"Beg For It" track listing:

1. This Worm (2:15)
2. Beg For It (3:57)
3. Into Debauchery (3:06)
4. Shades of Grey (3:25)
5. Nervous Breakdown (4:00)
6. Hope For A Normal Life (5:22)
7. Don't Care 'Bout Your Bad Behavior (4:34)
8. Remove My Brain (3:34)
9. Spit It Out (4:12)
10. Illegal Fun (4:00)
11. Take 'Em All Out (4:24)
12. Innocent Boy (5:36)

Reviewed by on August 15, 2009

"Hardcore Superstar sounds like what would have happened if Slash, Brett Michaels, and former Megadeth drummer Gar Samuelson had entered the studio together."

Hardcore Superstar has developed a reputation for being eccentric in the world of metal. Their unique blend of thrash, sleaze and glam may make purist fans quirk a brow, but surprisingly, this combination, known as street metal, works. No one who grew up on 80’s metal would have ever imagined it, but Hardcore Superstar sounds like what would have happened if Slash, Brett Michaels, and former Megadeth drummer Gar Samuelson had entered the studio together.

No particular classic bass player comes to mind for the mix, but then again, the bass, as has become standard issue in most metal these days, is virtually covered up in their latest release "Beg For It."

Hardcore Superstar has always ridden the fence somewhere between mainstream poppy metal and old school street metal, but "Beg For It" primarily is of the street metal variety. Though the opening track, "This Worm," is a surprising detour from their typical fare, with its orchestra and a whistle that has a sneaky similarity to the Scorpions' "Winds Of Change," the band quickly and almost jarringly changes gears with the second song, "Beg For It." This is perhaps the best track on the album, which of course is not uncommon with title tracks, but it also best represents the style of music Hardcore Superstar has been pumping out for the last decade.

"Take 'Em All Out" is another great tune with some funky sleaze guitar and an upbeat, sing along glam vocal style that is perfect for the music fan who likes to sing along with their tunes. The same can be said for "Remove My Brain," which has the gang vocals that seemed to characterize 80’s glam, but unfortunately the song becomes repetitive toward the end. Still, for fans of high end glam male vocals, Jocke Berg delivers, and delivers well.

The biggest flaw with "Beg For It" is that, while most of these songs take you down memory lane, they do so by reminding you too much of classic songs you know. Sometimes, like in "Spit It Out," you can recognize the similarity, since this one’s intro is quite a bit like "Hotel California" in a different key, but many times it’s just an inkling at the back of your mind that says "I've heard this before." Sure, there are only so many notes in a scale, but combining them in a new and unique way is what makes music, and unfortunately Hardcore Superstar fails to be very unique with this release.

Magnus Andreasson’s drumming is persistent and traditional thrash, but it’s not anything new, and Vic Zino’s sleaze guitar riffs aren’t any better than those from the founders of sleaze. Berg’s vocals are solid, but he doesn’t have the best voice in metal music, and in a time when growls are just part and parcel of metal, their absence seems to help date the already tired sound of "Beg For It."

If you’re a diehard fan of 80’s metal, and are in the mood for a trip down memory lane, then you’ll probably be perfectly content with "Beg For It," but if you’re looking for something new and bold, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

Highs: Title track is a great example of upbeat street metal, and sleaze fans will like Zino’s guitar work.

Lows: Most of the album sounds too much like music you already know.

Bottom line: If you like classic thrash and sleaze, this one might be worth checking out, but it doesn’t really offer anything new.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)