Good things come from Sweden: IKEA, ABBA & Roxette, Europe, hockey players and Hardcore Superstar! I am likely the only HCSS fan to also mention ABBA & Roxette alongside, I make no apologies for my aforementioned love of catchy choruses, if you aren’t already aware I have warned previously in articles.
I really cannot recall how I bumped into HCSS but I do remember the first tune I heard from these guys; “Someone Special” and once I checked out their image which is equally important to me I was sold especially during the period of the late 90’s. Their last release; C’mon Take On Me (2013) featured one of my all time fave HCSS tunes: “Above The Law” which was a relief because I really didn’t get all that into the 2010 release Split Your Lip.
I have been a solid supporter all along and wished on many occasions to check them out live; sadly the handful of times they have been in North American venues I have been unable to, it didn’t help that the musical climate for this style of rock did not bring them this side of the Atlantic for 10 full years. My fault for not catching them earlier, these guys rock from anything I have seen on them in live video clips.
Apparently the Swedes felt they needed to go back to their roots, according to their press releases regarding this somewhat self titled release. When I first read this I did not quite understand, as they never really strayed musically from what they made work well. I would say it took me a few listens to wrap myself around the songs here. Maybe I missed some early Scandinavian rare releases from early in their club career before being signed where their sound resembled some of the more odd tracks on HCSS. My fault once again, I try real hard to not have North American blinders on.
So here are the tracks and my opinion.
“Party ‘til I’m Gone”: This is one of their rougher around the edges style tunes. Doesn’t go far for me, I do like the guitar the most of this one and saves the song for me.
“The Cemetary”: Getting a little concerned, other than the chorus this one is lost on me. As with many HCSS songs their choruses are good enough they can get me through an otherwise weak song.
“Off With Their Heads”: Mid tempo song that is bringing me back in, a more refined sound that I prefer from HCSS.
“Fly”: A 7:43 long tune? For being labeled “sleaze rock” this is a little bit of an odd length but here we go on an odyssey. Good song, they back up their musical experimentation with solid melody. Picks up tempo in the latter portion. I can dig this tune.
“The Ocean”: Time to kick it up a notch. This feels like a record. I flipped the side and wham here we are fresh again starting with some hard rawkin’ guitar sound. Signature HCSS song.
“Touch The Sky”: Another strong signature tune. Like many of my fave songs from these guys, they somewhat remind me of another song I cannot quite put my finger on. Cool distortion and the vox style rock.
“Growing Old”: I grew a little older during the 1:30 intro of this 5:16 song. An ok song.
“Glue”: The first single, it rocks and is standard HCSS. I like it, but I don’t expect this song to get them any new traction.
“Messed Up For Sure”: Finishing up pretty strong rocking up tempo and sped up right at the end.
Good showing, most bands don’t survive 5 years anymore so 15 years in and still making good solid rock n’ roll music is well done. Two solid songs, no painful songs just a couple deviations and overall rocks hard enough to appease me.
Stand out tracks: “The Ocean” / “Touch The Sky”
Blair De Abreu