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The Honorary Title'
For The Cause
Pressed on Clear Vinyl
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.
The aptly titled album doesn't so much revisit where the group has been since 1994 - although MADBALL released its first EP, »Ball Of Destruction« as a virtual AGNOSTIC FRONT side-project back in 1989 - but forges forward and represents where the fellas find themselves collectively and personally a quarter-decade down the road.
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. He adds, "Matt's been playing 'commemorative' shows and tours with us on-and-off over the years, so, obviously, the love and friendship is there. He'll always be an honorary member A MADBALL lifer."
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. "It's a tricky thing, producing. You can truly enhance something, but you could also ruin a record if a band lets you," says Cricien. Freddy continues, "Tim has always respected our band and how we do what we do. He knew we had a vision for how this album should sound, so he let us do our thing, but was there every step supporting and cheering us on. Whenever he did chime in, it was well thought out and he made strong suggestions. He even helped write the hook on 'For You.' He was there for us in a non-meddlesome role, which for this particular record, was the best-case scenario." Danish studio veteran Tue Madsen (MESHUGGAH, DARK TRANQUILLITY, 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, "Jacken is our homie. He just came through to say what's up and check out the spot and I happened to be recording 'Rev Up.' He was really digging the song and just freestyled. It really drove the message of the song home. 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
8. Damaged Goods
9. The Fog (feat. Tim Timebomb)
10. Es Tu Vida
11. For You
12. For The Cause
13. Confessions$24.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Real Americans Spear ItLook Mexico has been making their favorite music since May 2004 in Tallahassee, FL. After finding their newest member Nick Chambers in recently transplanted town of Austin, TX, they joined forces with legendary producer J Robbins (Jets To Brazil, Jawbreaker, Against Me!, Braid, Murder By Death) to create Look Mexico's best effort yet, Real Americans Spear It (Adeline Records 9/2011). The band has toured just about non-stop, spending at least half of each of the past six years on the road, sharing stages with artists that include Rival Schools, The Honorary Title, Frank Turner, Good Old War, Fake Problems, and Bridge and Tunnel. Look Mexico will hit the road once again in support of their latest release including a trip across the pond in November 2011 for their first ever UK/Euro tour.1. You Hungry? Good. Cause You're Sayin' Grace.
2 . Arrest? I Don't Feel Like I'm Under Arrest.
3. That's Funny, Cause It Goes Both Ways
4 . Where Were You, Vince?
5. Runnin' Ain't Freedom (You Should Know That)$15.9912 Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Stand For Something Or Die For Nothing
Boston. Titletown. The Cradle of Liberty. Beantown. From popular neighborhoods like Jamaica Plain and Davis Square to the more hardscrabble quarters like Mattapan and Roxbury, Boston is a complex fabric of people, cultures, and viewpoints. None more Boston are punk rock outfit, Street Dogs. From the air they breathe and the food they eat to the communities they serve-frontman Mike McColgan is a Boston Fire Department 911 Dispatcher and drummer Pete Sosa is an honorary member of the City of Boston-and the values they uphold, Street Dogs exemplify their city and what it has to offer the world. Across the group's storied 16-year career, they've hit hard, spoke the truth, and walked the walk. New album, Stand for Something or Die for Nothing, is proof the Bostonians continue to live and be empowered by their punk rock, tell-it-like-it-is ethos.
"Anyone who has ever listened to our group knows we are Bostonians to the bone," says bassist Johnny Rioux. "We all love the city. It's our home. I think our fans abroad get a window into our city and what it is like to grow up here and live here through a multitude of different life experiences [from our music]."
Indeed, Sicut Patribus Sit Street Dogs Nobis. But the primary motivator to pick up where 2010's lauded self-titled left off wasn't to continue waving the sky blue at the Boston Common, but to sound the alarm that our leadership and the affluent are taking advantage of society. The wedge is being driven between classes, deeper and deeper, where the rich get richer and the poor are afforded fewer choices in life, like education, opportunity, and the pursuit of a good life, respected liberties, and unquestionable happiness. This gift, as it were, has given the Street Dogs have plenty to write about eight years after their Hellcat Records' swansong.
"The dumbing down of America is a reason to write songs in 2018," Rioux asserts. "People need to wake the fuck up and realize the rich won't drain the swamp or look after the working man and woman. [So] we hit on familiar turf and we go outside our zone as well on Stand for Something or Die for Nothing. It's tough to contain my excitement for this record and our fans are going to love it. Everyone stepped way up."
If there's one thing that sets the self-titled apart from Stand for Something or Die for Nothing it's the songwriting. Tracks like "Other Ones," "Angels Calling," "Working Class Heroes," and "Never Above You, Never Below You" show Street Dogs at their finest: loud, abrasive, confrontational, and unifying. In fact, there's not one track on the group's sixth full-length that doesn't convey brotherhood, common values, and the ability to stand together against anyone with aims to disfigure or disband their raised fist.
"On Stand for Something or Die for Nothing, we took our time making sure everything was worked out as well as it possibly could be with multiple re-writes of songs and painstaking takes," says Rioux. "The band wrote this record together as a unit. This is the most full-band record we have ever made with everyone contributing. It's our best record. I really believe that and all the hard-painstaking work we put in people will hear and feel. With respects to the self-titled record we were moving at very quick and prolific pace back then. That record came together fast and is special."
Recorded at Woolly Mammoth Studios, Sugarland Studio, and Q Division Studios with Rioux in the producer's chair, mix master Sean Cahalin at the desk, and mastering ace Jeff Lipton navigating, Stand for Something or Die for Nothing is a punk rock album for the new era. Rioux was careful to balance the DIY tenets of punk with the professional requirements of recording an album. The result was hard won, but Stand for Something or Die for Nothing is a punk rock triumph, with tracks like "The Comeback Zone," "Lest We Forget," and the title track delivering modern-day anthems that kick ass and take names.
"Other than Sean being a total professional and super-proficient, there aren't really any specific stories to Stand for Something or Die. I've always has had a hand in the production of our records and I can be demanding in the studio! That all said, I think we have our best sounding record to date. It has all the energy of our live shows in it. Fans will immediately tell it's us when they hear it."
While the definition of punk rock has its divisions, Street Dogs are, no doubt, part of the genre's proud history. Stand for Something or Die is undoubtedly punk rock. Using Rioux's definition (or not): "What's punk to me is people living how they want to not how they are told to."
Amen, brother.1. Stand For Something Or Die For Nothing
2. Other Ones
3. The Comeback Zone
4. Angels Calling (feat. Slaine)
5. These Ain't The Old Days
6. Working Class Heroes
7. Lest We Forget
8. The Round Up
9. Mary On Believer Street
10. Never Above You, Never Below You
11. Torn And Frayed$20.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now