It seems that the pandemic and the lockdown that followed did good to a lot of bands and artists since the work they released is very good comparing to what they did before Covid.
The truth is that the mighty Hardcore Superstar sounded a bit weary and stagnant to me lately. Like their freshness was gone. But, “Abrakadabra” turned the tide…
Although the basic ingredients are the same, it’s the recipe that’s a bit different. There are a lot mid-tempo songs with very “to the point”, catchy and addictive choruses. Most of them, if not all, are ideal for the stage, where the Swedes feel at home. Also, since the very beginning you can trace several classic rock elements, like for the example on the intro of the titletrack which reminded me of Thin Lizzy, as well as Gary Moore’s all time classic “Over The Hills And Far Away”, plus you can also hear some keyboards. When the majestic opening fades though you dip into the Swedes’ familiar sleaze stuff.
Their goal was the “arena sound” and that’s why they sacrificed the fast pace and the high speed. That doesn’t mean that “Abrakadabra” doesn’t grab you by the neck instantly. On the contrary, the band hammers relentlessly with amazing guitars on its most complex arrangements and probably the most technical solos we’ve listened to a Hardcore Superstar album up to now that actually refer to a more classic hard rock, even heavy metal sound. Still, all that are completely installed into their untamed thoroughbred DNA of the band.
“Influencer” is a straight hit against one of the ugliest phenomena the digital age brought. They give the a good slam and I am happy they do so. The chorus is catchy and easy to remember, which is actually a guarantee that it will stick to you after listening to the album, and the same goes for “Forever And A Day”, “Weep When You Die”, “Catch Me If You Can”, “One For All”, and more or less all the albums’ songs.
In a nutshell, this is probably the best album of the band since “Split Your Lip” and that’s an amazing feat; they are reaching the levels of song writing they had at their highest point so far. Except from making you happy and excited about them, this also creates more expectations from the band in the future!