Review Summary: Great album by an underrated and under appreciated punk band.
In the 1990's, the So-Cal punk scene was being revived by the likes of Bad Religion, Pennywise, NOFX and The Offspring. The influence of these bands spread across the country, and even influenced bands outside of the U.S.A. A punk/hardcore scene developed in Sweden, and these bands got popular with American fans. The most notable skate punk band that got American punk notoriety was Millencolin. However, another band, known as Satanic Surfers, gained a somewhat huge following in Sweden like Millencolin. However, their success didn't translate into America as other well known punk bands did. This is most likely due to the fact that Epitaph only released one album by them in 1999, while their prior albums were released on Burning Heart only, which made availability in foreign countries limited. However, for a a selected few who've heard of this band, they are an important band to the 90's punk scene.
Satanic Surfers have been around since 1989, but they didn't release their debut until 1996. This band is notable for the drummer, Rodrigo, also being the vocalist as well. You may think "well that's nothing unless the drumming is excellent", and well, it is. As a drummer, Rodrigo can play very fast and make sick beats while singing with heartfelt emotion.
To describe the musical style of Satanic Surfers, its 90's style punk rock with that "Scandinavian twist" Millencolin was described as. Don't get me wrong, they sound very different. I think this "Scandinavian twist" can best be described as having elements of Swedish pop music in their sound, while also adding a lot of metal sounding intros and bridges into the mix. While not on the technicality of bands like Strung Out, the metal influences are strong enough to please anyone.
Now, Satanic Surfers are a pretty exceptional band. In the sea of 90's pop punk and skate punk bands, they have a unique sound that will hit that catchy spot that fans of this music love. The opening track "...And the Cheese Fell Down" is a strong intro to their sound. Songs like "Use a Bee", "Hero of Our Time" and "Before Its Too Late" leave the listener feeling satisfied and yet confused on how this band didn't have a bigger following in America.
Lyrically, Satanic Surfers are quite inspired. They are actually quite politically charged, speaking against social evils like racism, sexism and conformity. Rodrigo's melodic sounding voice fits perfectly with these detailed lyrics. On the other hand, Satanic Surfers cam also put together immature songs like "Armless Skater" and "Got to Throw Up", which are good, but can somewhat pull away from the seriousness of the more serious lyrics.
"Good Morning", arguably the best crafted song on the album, is a 4:31 long epic that speaks against conformity with simple but powerful lyrics. If you ever felt the need to conform to fit in, just listen to this song, and you'll feel kind of stupid.
Hero of Our Time is a catchy skate punk album by a band who never took off on the popularity of bands like Millencolin or Refused, but they were still great. This album is catchy, and I think its safe to say that almost every song is worth listening to replay over and over again. While it may be on the immature side at times, the music brings a listener to the simpler times of skateboarding and listening to punk all day.