Hardcore Superstar thrust more crotch as Abrakadabra veers toward pastiche

Sleazy Swedes Hardcore Superstar take the road well travelled on 12th album Abrakadabra

Hardcore Superstar: Abrakadabra cover art
(Image: © Wedge)

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With a band name that’s probably better suited to an adult streaming service, there’s no prize for second-guessing the kind of sleazy, crotch-thrusting rock that Hardcore Superstar have made their remit. 

At it for 25 years, the Gothenburg quartet obviously owe huge debts to Motley Crue and a certain top-hatted guitarist, but there’s some fun to be had here.

The title track is a spirited stomper, while Motley Crue/ Whitesnake mash-up Forever And A Day crackles with attitude and AOR vibes. By some distance, guitarist Vic Zino gets the man-of-the-match award – his sizzling, often soulful playing elevating almost every song. 

But there’s no saving the rudderless Throw A Brick or wet ballad Fighter from falling flat on their faces. Half of the battle is spirit, and Hardcore Superstar have plenty of that, but the album relies too heavily on pastiche over real rock‘n’roll magic.

Chris Lord

Copywriter, music journalist and drummer. Once fist bumped James Hetfield. Words for The Guardian, Gear4Music, Metro, Exposed Mag.