New York Hardcore rebels ‘Madball’ are back, keeping the same rage, remaining relevant and embracing the responsibility of carrying on with tradition their status in Hardcore, even without the original line up from the 1990s. Hardcore Lives is tracked and engineered by Unearth guitarist Ken Susi and mixed and mastered by Zeuss (Hatebreed, Soulfly).
Woah there, Hardcore is still alive! I was a rather huge fan of Hardcore in my younger years, I veered away from angry moshpits as I got older – they hurt, ouchie! As I near middle age status, this album has been a refreshing reminder of my volatile times without being bored and feeling old. I do not condone head banging in a helicopter style at my age though without needing a visit to a Chiropractor.
Shredding up with ultra-fast riffage and angst, this album makes me want to stick a middle finger up to society all over again, and annoy my estranged neighbours through the listening process so they fear for their lives. Get ready to stomp, shout, go absolutely mental, repeat the angry lyrics to our loved ones due to the catchy nature of these cheeky rhymes and remind ourselves that Madball are back in true Hardcore style, and by Hardcore – I mean the proper stuff! With strong and crystal clear speedy guitar riffs, fool proof punchy vocals and pleasing drum work, this is a must listen.
With Guest appearances from Scott Vogel (Terror), Toby Morse (H2O) and Candance Puopolo (Walls of Jericho) this album offers a mixed bag of warbles.
Want to know what Madball are all about? Simply, listen to their lyrics; Madball traditionally put across their blunt messages into their lyrics, and Freddy Cricien lays it all out and what it all means: See the track listing below for an insight!
Track listing and Song-by-Song Lyric Breakdown by Freddy Cricien
- ‘Intro’ – We wanted to do a throwback to when, not so much musically, but format wise – when bands would have a song with no vocals and actually name it “intro” on the record. This piece was essentially part of the song HC Lives, but kind of has a vibe and life of its own, so it worked perfectly that this would be the intro that sets up the song hardcore lives…which is a barrage of vocals.
- ‘HC Lives’– is a coming of age song. It speaks of the struggles and rebellious spirit of the “kids” that sparked this musical subculture. There are many lyrical “nods” to influential bands from NY and beyond, and from different eras etc. within the con-text of telling the story. It’s also about how the “movement” continues. That spirit is still very much alive and vibrant today.
- ‘The Balance’ – is about balancing family life and tour life. We’re lucky to be doing something that’s “our passion” for a living. The bad part is, we have to leave the ones we love behind for weeks at a time. On one hand you appreciate your situa-tion, and on the other, well, it’s extremely hard, especially with children involved. It’s a bittersweet life. I think anyone that has a job that takes them away from their loved ones will appreciate this track on many levels.
- ‘Doc Marten Stomp’ – is about paying homage to my extended family, my broth-erhood; the DMS crew. Also, the Black n Blue supporters worldwide. It delves into how some people have always viewed us negatively and think we’re a gang or something of that sort (we’re NOT). It’s deeper than that. It’s something that started in the streets and there’s no shame in that, but, it has certainly grown into much more than a HC crew or street crew – whatever you want to call it. The song speaks of evolution, and paying respects to those who we lost way too young. It’s also an “anthem” of sorts for the whole BNB movement.
- ‘DNA’ – is intertwined with a connection to certain family members literally, but also speaks of how some of us are built the same or “cut from a similar cloth.” It doesn’t necessarily have to be a blood-bond, but the concept definitely goes back and forth between blood family and just people you’re connected to via music, life, etc. It speaks of how those of us from the same “stock” are flawed (like everyone) but we have the ability to overcome adversity and change, and hopefully pass the best parts of ourselves onto our children.
- ‘True School’ feat. Scott Vogel (TERROR) – is a reminder to the young kids in our music scene that well, everyone was “new school” at some point, so it’s ok if you’re just discovering this scene, or any scene. There’s a lot you can learn from the old school bands/people. You can also get stuck in a time warp and “stunt your growth” if you don’t grow with the times, like with anything. Things that are novelty-based can be cool. That said, it’s not what’s going to keep things alive and/or fresh. For those of us who choose to stay relevant while retaining some of those old school principals – I think there’s something to be said for that…a lot to be said. The true school is about the die-hards and the new kids that truly “get it.”
- ‘The Here And Now’– is about living in the moment and seizing it. That can be ap-plied to many things, obviously. Too many people get caught up in the past or fu-ture and miss the opportunity that’s right before them.
- ‘Nothing To Me’– is written from two perspectives. First the “punk kid” who doesn’t respect who people are or how they came up because he/she basically doesn’t know any better. It can be applied to how some newer kids may view us. Also, it can be applied to a parent/child relationship, or just the youth vs. the old wise folk (haha). Not that the youth are dumb, they’re actually brilliant. But one can learn from others experiences. Humility is a good thing.
- ‘My Armor’ feat. Toby Morse (H2O) – is about just squashing negativity and nega-tive people in your path, by not making them a focal point in any way, shape or form. People that hate for the sake of hating. People that are envious. People that take on personas via the internet, but don’t have an ounce of credibility in life. All that comes and goes, but what we do and how we carry ourselves – that will stand the test of time and speak for itself. Kill them with positivity and actual factual things of merit.
- ‘Beacon Of Light’– is about my wife and son. It’s about watching my son grow with amazement and how he/they are my “beacons of light.” They guide me to safety; keep me focused, humble and positive. They give me inspiration and essentially, life! I think anyone that feels that for any loved one or friend/mate, etc. will most definitely identify with this track. But it is a very personal tribute from me to them.
- ‘Born Strong’ feat. Candance Puopolo (WALLS OF JERICHO) – is about how we’re all born with strengths; physical and/or otherwise. It’s about summoning that when you need to, and when you do it as a united front with family, friends, or whomever, THEN you’re really “powerful.”
- ‘Spirit’ – It’s about overcoming certain “inner demons.” This one has a lot of per-sonal sentiment as well, but I think a lot of people can relate to this struggle. Es-pecially those who grew up as I did. This song can go as deep as you want or allow it to go.
- ‘Mi Palabra’ – is about living by “your word.” People, especially on the internet these days, seem to be turning more and more fickle. It’s about having dignity and actually LIVING what you speak – whatever that may be.
- ‘NBNC’ – was written by Mike and Mitts both musically and lyrically. So naturally it’s them on it. You’ll have to ask them what the sentiment is behind it all. Let’s just say it’s dark (haha). It’s one of those crazy, short MB songs that have become a tradition for us.
- ‘The Beast’ – it’s about fighting that horrible “demon” known as anxiety. I don’t suffer from anxiety disorder, but I most definitely have felt the feeling and still do from time to time, to be honest. Kill this f**king beast!
- ‘For The Judged’ – is precisely that. For people who have been judged because of their appearance, skin color, gender…whatever. No one likes being judged. No one likes being profiled or belittled. I’ve had it done to me A LOT, and I see it being done all the time. It’s an ugly, ignorant “habit” that our species has really mastered. Be who you are without shame!
- ‘Spit On Your Grave’ * bonus – This is an old song from the “Droppin’ Many Suck-ers” EP (92), that we still do live. This was one of the first songs that really demonstrated how we were “coming into our own.” Ironically enough, the lyrics were written by my bro Roger. I hadn’t quite grasped the whole songwriting thing at that point. I had ideas, etc., but I didn’t really know what I was doing per se. Roger wrote the lyrics for a lot of the songs on that release. He had books of old lyrics, and we just utilized them. I just amended some things here and there.
Freddy Cricien – Vocals
Hoya Roc – Bass
Mitts – Guitar
Mike Justian – Drums