|Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: 15 June 2018
Format: LP Vinyl
|Madball For The Cause Limited Gatefold Vinyl LP
Maintaining urgency, authenticity and integrity has never been an issue for New York City’s hardest, and hardest working band, Madball. Twenty-five years along as a recording and touring entity, MB brings forth its ninth aural chapter, For the Cause; a signature collection of lionhearted, groove-laden, street-level New York Hardcore as only Madball can bring it.
Throughout the band’s storied history, Madball has asserted its mission; carrying forth a simple yet righteous cause, and this time around, they’ve chosen to define that cause more succinctly than ever before. Tornadic vocalist/front man Freddy Cricien explains, “If you’re not fighting for a cause, you’re not participating in life. Simple as that. Speak up, fight, educate yourself, make a difference and make sacrifices for what’s important to you.” Words to live by.
For the Cause sees the return to the fold of guitarist Matt Henderson, who hasn’t appeared on a Madball album since 2000’s Hold it Down, for which Henderson also served as producer. “To have him record with us again was really special” offers Freddy.
Unique to this album is the stellar production work by Rancid’s Tim Armstrong, who clearly helped express Madball’s distinctive voice powerfully and dynamically without stepping on the trademark formula the band has forever carried, yet constantly seeks to improve upon. Danish studio veteran Tue Madsen (Meshuggah, Dark Tranquility, Sick of it All) skillfully handled mixing duties on For the Cause.
Also, noteworthy on For the Cause are the various cameo appearances by some of Madball’s friends, as well as several artists with whom the group shares a mutual respect; namely Psycho Realm’s Sick Jacken on the track “Rev Up,” The Business’ Steve Whale and producer Armstrong on “The Fog,” plus legendary emcee Ice-T on the hardcore banger “Evil Ways.” Freddy discloses, “ As for Ice-T, he added a good flavor to ‘Evil Ways.’ It was a real honor to work with someone I’ve been following and have respected since I was a kid. He genuinely supports our band and the scene we come from. Tim and Steve jumping on The Fog’ happened organically like everything else with this record.” The UK Oi! legend provided the spoken intro and a guitar lead to the street punk tinged anthem.
What’s maybe most notable on For the Cause is its various twists and turns both musically and vocally to keep Madball’s brand of NYHC fresher than it has ever been. Freddy presents, “How do you grow as a band or as a person if you don’t take chances? We feel obligated to ourselves and everyone else to evolve, at least somewhat. We took more ‘chances’ on this record than on any previous one, and we’re happy about that! We’re proud that it’s still very much us; it’s real and honest. There is plenty on there to satisfy the people that support us from every era of this band.”
As for Madball’s astounding longevity in the hardcore game: “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.”
1. Smile Now Pay Later
2. Rev Up
3. Freight Train
5. Old Fashioned
6. Evil Ways (feat. Ice T)
7. Lone Wolf
1. Damaged Goods
2. The Fog (feat. Tim Armstrong)
3. Es Tu Vida
4. For You
5. For the Cause