Live Review: Madball – The Well, Leeds, December 8th 2009

New York hardcore legends Madball return to the UK after 18-months since their last visit and tonight sees them hit up The Well in Leeds.

Kicking off the night is Weight of the World, with a New York hardcore sound reminiscent to that of old-school Cruel Hand combined with War Hungry-esque metallic riffs, it’s a fairly impressive and tight set for a band that only formed 5-months ago.

Next up, and final support act of the night, thanks to UK hardcore darlings Dirty Money breaking up, is Dead and Gone Records favourite Deal With It, as they belt out their no-nonsense and pissed off hardcore. However, the try-hard tough-guy attitude of front man Michael is a little undesired, as he asks, “Where’s the masculinity in hardcore? I’m sick of these hardcore bands writing songs about crying over girls.”, demanding those in attendance to fuck each other up, trying to corrupt a generally positive atmosphere. Major man points for his wally and, unfortunately, that’s all their performance gets.

9.45pm sees the mammoth four-man powerhouse of Madball take to the stage as they aptly set it off with Set It Off. Frontman Freddy Cricien is notable pissed off about the sound problems during the first few songs, but this eventually gets resolved as they unleash their pummelling trademark style of chuggariffic riffs and bruising basslines made for mosh.

It’s an odd and disheartening sight seeing such an established band in the hardcore scene play to a room not nearly as full as it should be, along with the majority standing back, but those in attendance are treat to an almost near-perfect set of old and new, from the likes of Down By Law and Demonstrating My Style to tunes such as Infiltrate The System and Heavenhell.

Following an hour of classics and surprises, such as Get Out, the set ends with Pride (Times Are Changing) and the six-second spitfire of an assault, Hardcore Still Lives, as they play with just as much punch and fire as if this was 20-years ago.

It’s clear that this band still live and breathe hardcore more than ever, and in this day of age, it’s something pretty inspirational, considering the measly longevity of most hardcore bands today.

Faye Turnbull.

Keeping checking back as an interview with Freddy Cricien will be posted soon!

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