This past Tuesday was actually one of my favorite album release days in a while. Besides getting new offerings from the Roots and Madonna, silly-power-poppers Nerf Herder made their triumphant return, and speaking of comebacks, Portishead released their first album in 11 years. I’m also lovin’ Santogold, but the album that I just can’t stop listening to is International Superheroes of Hardcore’s Takin’ It Ova!.
(left: Rest assured, these are no Superhero Sellouts.)
For those that don’t know, this is the alter-ego band of New Found Glory–a group that was sadly lumped into the power-pop-nice-haircut bands of the early 2000’s. No doubt their music can be classified as power-pop, but I always thought they brought a little something different to the table. It was also no secret that certain members of New Found Glory were big fans of hardcore music (ahem, Chad Gilbert), which was apparent on certain New Found Glory offerings. However, it’s nice to see the band fully embrace their hardcore-punk-rock leanings on Takin’ It Ova!.
If the band name isn’t indication enough, yes, International Superheroes of Hardcore are a tongue-in-cheek hardcore group, but underneath the silliness lies some genius commentary on the current state of music. In “Screamo Gotta Go,” ISHC hilariously pick apart teen emo music, “This is the part where you want the girls to scream like you/ This is the part where you want the guys to think you’re cool.” Considering New Found Glory was dropped from their major label during the emo-boom, you gotta think that some of the anger in the vocals is legitimate.
For anyone who attended hardcore shows in the early 90’s, the track “Madball’s Got Our Back” is sure to make you laugh. Back then, whenever you wanted to talk about the hardest of hardcore music, you would reference Madball, in the same way headbangers would name-drop Slayer.
ISHC also cleverly use the song “Back To The Future” to profess their love for both the movie and the hardcore-punk-rock community, “Back to when it all began, back to when it meant so much more.” Takin’ It Ova! is bread-and-butter hardcore music–no song is longer than two minutes long, most of the tracks feature a quick, guttural intro, and every song has a fist-pumping, everyone-sing-at-once chorus.