It is fair to say you generally know what you are going to get from New York hardcore giants Madball but that familiarity is always brought with honesty and an inspiring heart to fully satisfy. Their new release the “Rebellion” EP is no different. It fulfils expectations with an energy and accomplishment to leave one grinning in pleasure whilst at the same time keeping the band at the head of the genre and still the band to be inspired from and live up to.
The six track release features four new songs plus a couple of revisited and re-recorded songs from their 1989 debut release “Ball Of Destruction.” Released on frontman Freddy Cricien’s own The Black N Blue Label, the EP follows the impressive 2010 album “Empire” and holds many of the aspects found on that release, but as we said Madball is always recognisably Madball so no surprises there. It does though, feel like there is a new breath and impetus to the band to strike up not a new direction but a revitalised presence from the band.
The release opens with the most delicious gnarly bass taunting from Hoya Roc on opener ‘You Reap What You Sow’, its introduction to the song predatory and menacing and a portent to the aggressive and direct intent to come. Once the guitar of Mitts unleash its venomous inciting riffs and strokes the track erupts into a fury of punk intensity and almost duelling vocals for an angry anthemic contagion.
The following track ‘The Beast’ emerges as the best on the release. It is a metal toned assault of heavy weighted riffs and aggressive vocals which in accumulation is simply punk at its height and only garners a complaint towards its mere two minute length. It offers a kind of early Stuck Mojo/Biohazard flavouring but is distinctly pure attitude fuelled Madball, a loaded infectious riot.
The other new songs ‘Rebellion’ and ‘My Blood’ equally ignite and badger the senses. The first with another simply irresistible bass presence to intimidate between the surging rhythms of Mike Justian, is a storm of ferocious riffs and incendiary energy to drive fists into the air and set hearts ablaze whilst the second is another fully anthemic addiction permeated with well crafted guitar ventures. Both songs as mentioned leave doors to new pastures alone but it is hard to think of many other punk bands which feed upon and energise the senses as voraciously and ably as Madball still and consistently do.
The pair of reworked songs come in the rampaging shape of ‘Get Out’ and ‘It’s My Life’, both middle fingered furies blistering the ear and beyond with rapier riffs through antagonistic attitude and energies. Two more blink and you miss assaults they are a glorious look back at where it all began and a fitting salute to two songs which still garner a persistent demand and play in the band’s set lists today.
Recorded with Hate Eternal’s Erik Rutan, the “Rebellion” EP is a predictably solid and fully enjoyable release whilst Madball still the band to leaves one rich in satisfaction.