Album Review: Madball – Hardcore Lives

Posted: June 30, 2014 in Album Reviews


I didn’t grow up on hardcore. I lived in the suburbs of Seattle and metal was my savior. I never even checked out anything remotely hardcore until D.R.I. released their Crossover LP, or more accurately for me cassette. Crossover and Four of a Kind fueled me for a good year. After that hardcore was just another sub-genre of metal for me. Loud guitars, aggressive vocals, and rhythm sections that were fast and tight. It’s with that background that I approached the new Madball release, Hardcore Lives. (Side note: the title confuses me a bit. Does the “lives” refer to the fact that hardcore still exists, or are Madball proclaiming that they are hardcore about living? )

I pressed play with a bit of skepticism. Albums that open with a track titled Intro often lead to disappointment. Intros are for playing just before your live set. If you’re going to have one on your album at least give it a title. Otherwise you seem lazy. That, however, is where my trepidation ended. The title track kicks in and proceeds to keep the listener hostage for the next 30 minutes spread over 15 tracks. In an odd move for all the “core” subgenres, The Balance kicks off with a breakdown before kicking into its refrain of, “Cause I watched the clock, my heart starts to drop, times ticking away and doesn’t stop!” I would expect nothing less from Madball than urgency. The socially conscious lyrics, as one would expect, continue throughout the album. The Here and Now is a constant reminder that “right now” is all one possesses so stay in the present. My Armor, which features a guest appearance from H2O’s Toby Morse, speaks to the hate that fills the world, but through perseverance one may remain safe and that a positive mental attitude will always prevail.

For such a rough and tough album, one gets the feeling that the band has lived every word they write. So much so, in fact, that it leads me to believe that the band has lived through some personally heavy shit and have come out the other side to scream about their trials and how they survived. I’m sure every listener will come away with a personal meaning to the themes involved, as this writer does. At the end of it all, Hardcore Lives does have multiple meanings. The genre has stayed strong, the people held on, and their lives keep going. Stay strong and stay positive my friends, as I’m sure Madball will wish you the same.


Rating: 3.5/5

Label: Black N Blue

Release Date: July 1st (I have heard it moved a week, however)



  1. […] – Hardcore Lives (Black N Blue) If you haven’t read my review you can do so here.  This is a solid record that contains what you would expect from the band.  Great riffs, solid […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s