On the same day as the release of their latest album, Music For A Big Night Out, the three folks from a little studio in Hamburg also popped out "Army of Hardcore", a single that harkens back a bit to their stadium sound from ten years ago. But is it enough to satisfy the long-term fans and entice new ones as well?
We only get two versions of the song on this single, a sad trend toward very short single releases, as opposed to the golden days when we would get longer mixes, remixes, and B-sides. With falling sales of singles over full-length albums, they now simply release a Radio Edit and an Extended or Club Mix, as is the case here. We start off with the Radio Edit, which enters fairly explosively with frontman H.P. Baxxter throwing out lyrics like "Start the war, hit the floor...", taken liberally from "Army Of Hardcore", a song released in 1998 by hardcore artists Neophyte vs. The Stunned Guys. Some thumping bass definitely will shake a few speakers, but it's the loud chorus that will really perk up some ears, with synths reminiscent of their earlier classics like "One (Always Hardcore)", "Weekend!", and "Hello! (Good To Be Back)". It's probably their most Scooter-like single in a few years ever since they hopped on the jumpstyle bandwagon and a bit of a refreshing listen. The Extended Club Mix is just that, a more fleshed-out track with a bass-laden intro/outro and more time spent emphasizing their chorus. This is definitely intended for DJs, as well as home listeners that are dissatisfied with the short length of the Radio Edit.
There isn't much to say about such an abridged single. I really wish they would go back to creating B-sides; otherwise, you can easily get the best of this single on their album, making this release essentially useless other than for a little bit of promotion (and that apparently didn't work out too well, either). Army of Hardcore is, however, a step back in style to when they were once popular. Unfortunately, a lack of solid promotion and a general public disdain caused by the last few singles have really taken their toll on Scooter. This is also the last single featuring founding member Rick J. Jordan, who left the band after their early 2014 tour, citing that had grown tired of the direction the band was taking. If he's getting tired of their sound, perhaps the listening public is doing the same. Who knows how they will claw their way back to the top?