Madball: For The Cause (2018)

Written by: Kev Rowland

This 2018 release saw an important change in personnel for the band, as the year before it was announced that guitarist Brian “Mitts” Daniels was leaving after some sixteen years. Luckily the band were able to draft in a temporary replacement in Matt Henderson, who had previously played on 2000’s ‘Hold It Down’. Given that both singer Freddy Cricien and bassist Hoya Roc also appeared on that release, he only had to slot in with “new boy” drummer Mike Justian and they were ready to crank it up. This release contains more energy and venom than the previous ‘Hardcore Lives’. It is just more in every direction, more power, more angst, more energy, more punk, more hardcore and also definitely far more metal. In many ways it is the supreme crossover album, mixing thrash and hardcore in a manner that only Madball have ever managed when coming from the hardcore side.

Produced by Rancid’s Tim Armstrong, and mixed by Tue Madsen (Meshuggah, Dark Tranquillity, Sick Of It All), this is music that is in your ears and in your face. It is impossible not to be taken along for the ride by the sheer force of will of those involved. Thirty years down the track, and they still sound as angry and passionate as they ever did. This is hardcore being taken to a whole new level. When asked how they have managed to stay around for so long, Cricien says, “ “We don’t know how to do anything else at this point. We raise our families to the best of our ability; we do Madball to the best of our ability… So far so good, and we don’t feel that we’ve reached our full potential in either of those areas just yet.”

If they still don’t think that Madball have reached their full potential, after thirty years of taking their brand of New York Hardcore all over the world, what on earth are they going to deliver next? Madball = Hardcore, and if you enjoy this style of music then this is essential.

Rating: 8/10


Track list:
1. Smile Now Pay Later
2. Rev Up
3. Freight Train
4. Tempest
5. Old Fashioned
6. Evil Ways
7. Lone Wolf
8. Damaged Goods
9. The Fog
10. Es Tu Vida
11. For You
12. For The Cause
13. Confessions



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