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Madball | ‘For The Cause’


A tribute to Dave Mustaine, or a clichéd hardcore trope?

If it was the former, it would give this record a semblance of intelligence that it sorely lacks.

Madball are not a band that stand the test of time.

They’re often the beginner hardcore band for metal heads yet to discover Sick of it All, Agnostic Front or Cro-Mags in the echelon of NYHC.

But they do have their moments: ‘Pride (Times Are Changing)’ still stands up well as a menacing, yet life affirming song. And ‘Set it Off’ has a pretty decent groove going on.

No such moments like that on here, however.

I have played this album around four times, and I’m struggling to come up with something to write about it. Not only because it sounds like it came off a conveyor belt, but also because there’s nothing noteworthy to write about it.

Just a long slog of digitally processed riffing, the least threatening gang vocals in the world and lyrics about being a lone wolf and living on your knees.

I know that bands need to keep making records in order to tour, and so I understand that this can lead to band members going through the motions, producing one or two songs that will sit well in the live set between the crowd favourites.

But fucking hell, it doesn’t excuse this turd of a record.

This type of music is meant to be exciting, not sound like it was made in a fucking factory by committee.

The cover is weak bullshit as well. Generic black and white live shot with the band’s logo displayed prominently.

It’s as if Madball couldn’t give a fuck, because they know that the album will be bought by aging skinheads who think Madball, alongside Rancid, are “keeping street punk alive”, and streamed by Champion long-sleeved jumper wearing hardcore kids with graffiti baseball caps who’ll read articles about the evils of the world on their iPhone.

Lazy, box ticking, insipid rubbish.

0.5 / 5 – Christopher Owens ::: 11/06/18



16 Comments
  1. Not a bias review at all, stick to licking Acid Ages and Hellbastards arse.

  2. Bit difficult to do considering I’ve never reviewed either band.

  3. Circlepit Says:

    I like all of the madball releases. To write off most of their back catalogue is just stupid. Legacy is a great album and came well after the 2 songs you mentioned. Also to dismiss Rancid as strictly for scene kids is adaft.
    Having said that the 2 songs I’ve heard from this record are weak. It’s this new idea that Freddy has a melodic singing voice is what’s sticking out. He doesn’t!
    When you have such disdain for a band why would you bother reviewing their latest release? It’s not like it’s your job.

  4. King Hostile Says:

    …DUDE! Rev that up will you ha ha!

  5. Yip, fairly insipid. Funny enough I had a bit of a cro mags this past weekend, a couple of early shows on YouTube. Harley Flanagan wrote his first book at SEVEN years old, bought his first bass off Jaco pastorious who needed money for gear and all in all is about as ‘real’ as you can get. Watch his recent interview with recently deceased Anthony Bourdain, who in turn was a fairly fainting character. Anyway, ill stick with cro -mags.

  6. ‘Fascinating character’ iPhone sucks balls.

  7. John Kimble Says:

    Madball always fucking sucked. Music for numbskulls.

  8. I picked up one of their albums as a gossoon and liked a couple of songs but yeah, a lot of shite in the mix too. Full marks for dragging thirty odd years out of a band whose entire lyrical content revived around all the various forms of respect and the dire consequences that will be meted out to anyone who falls short in the respect stakes. You’d think you might drag the topic out for a chorus, or maybe even a full song. But an entire career? In a word, RESPECT!

  9. John Kimble Says:

    Haha exactly. Madball are to respect as Hatebreed are to perseverance.

  10. Let’s be honest, if the singer for Madball came out as trans, Christopher Owens would be calling this the most provocative, zeitgeist-capturing record the Trump era has yet to produce 😀

  11. Is there really a need for a personal dig because you don’t like his review?

  12. Tis true though. Primal Rites music is bollox

  13. PowerslaveDave Says:

    I have always failed to understand hardcore. Hardcore to me is and always will be Bad Brains, Circle Jerks, The Germs, Minor Threat, Black Flag etc.

    Bands like Biohazard, Madball, Terror etc. are just metal bands who hijacked the name of a style of punk rock music.

    Bands like Fucked Up and The Bronx are keeping real hardcore alive albeit very few have as much substance as them there certainly seems to be more traditional hardcore bands churning out quality albums as opposed to what hardcore supposedly is nowadays which is just generic toughguy brometal shite.

  14. I wasn’t making a personal dig, just an observation about the critic’s tastes.

    I don’t much care for this band, but to my ears it doesn’t sound THAT musically distinct from albums Chris has given glowing reviews to.

  15. Cryptic Stench Says:

    Too many tribute bands is the issue here.

  16. Strong Reaction Says:

    Shite band release shite album shocker.

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