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Hardcore Superstar: C’Mon Take On Me

Gothenburgers deliver the goods.

Not hardcore, nor superstars, with their ninth album the long-slogging Swedish band still sound like they’re on the cusp of a breakthrough. For some reason they dub themselves ‘street metal’, but that’s a misleading tag best ignored (along with the honking album title).

They’re nothing more than good-time, beer-friendly, girlfriend-on-shoulders hookmeisters, with some admittedly brilliant songs. Hardcore Superstar want to be bad boys. They chug and sneer on Are You Gonna Cry Now, and give it their best GN’R curled lip on Won’t Take The Blame, but they’re far better at the melodic stuff.

Above The Law sounds like a lost classic you found in the tape deck of an 80s Testarossa, Too Much Business is a rabble-chanted joy, while Stranger Of Mine starts as a cowboy torch song and builds into a swooning, strings-attached climax of the kind that Wembley encores are made of. They might still soar.

Henry Yates has been a freelance journalist since 2002 and written about music for titles including The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Classic Rock, Guitarist, Total Guitar and Metal Hammer. He is the author of Walter Trout's official biography, Rescued From Reality, a music pundit on Times Radio and BBC TV, and an interviewer who has spoken to Brian May, Jimmy Page, Ozzy Osbourne, Ronnie Wood, Dave Grohl, Marilyn Manson, Kiefer Sutherland and many more.