Although the Satanic Surfers
originally formed in their native Sweden in 1989, it wasn't until 1996 that their first full-length album appeared. Like the singles and EPs that preceded it, Hero of Our Time
is melodic, catchy, but ultimately derivative punk-pop. (Indeed, the tacky "Armless Skater" is just a slightly revised remake of "Hank," one of the band's earliest and slightest songs.) Taken on its own merits, Hero of Our Time
isn't a bad record at all; the 13 songs are tuneful bits of ramalama three-chord punk delivered with an endearing lack of pretension, and singer Rodrigo Alfaro (the band's drummer, who took over from mono-named singer Ulf with this release) delivers the lightweight lyrics with a charmingly yobbish skater-kid yell. But while the songs are pleasant enough taken singly, as a whole they start to blur into each other before the album's even half over. The Satanic Surfers
would almost immediately take a big step forward with their next album, 666 Motor Inn
, but Hero of Our Time
is an inconclusive debut.