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Sunday Old School: Madball

What did you get up to when you were twelve years old? Did you play video games at home, play sports outside or go fishing with your dad? Whatever it was, chances are you weren’t in a hardcore band. Not a lot of people can say that, but Freddy Cricien can. Freddy Cricien is the younger half brother of Agnostic Front singer Roger Miret and would frequently join the band onstage to perform The Animals’ song, "It’s My Life." Eventually, Cricien was encouraged to start his own band, which he did in 1988 at the age of twelve with Miret on bass, Agnostic Front guitarist Vinnie Stigma and drummer Will Shepler. Naming the band, Madball, their music mostly comprised of unused Agnostic Front material and they quickly released their first demo, "Ball Of Destruction" in 1989. After adding a second guitarist in the form of Matt Henderson and spending a few more years performing, the band finally released another record in 1992 entitled, "Droppin’ Many Suckers."

Following Miret’s departure, Cricien recruited a friend of his, Hoya Roc to become the band’s new bassist and shortly afterwards, the group found themselves signed to Roadrunner Records. Through the label, Madball released their full length album, "Set It Off" in 1994, which enabled the band to tour not only across America, but also in Europe, performing at such events as Dynamo Open Air, as well as appearing in the documentary movie NYHC in 1995. They continued to expand their fanbase the next year when they released "Demonstrating My Style," a record which features the song, "Pride (Times Are Changing,)" arguable their most well known song along with the title track from "Set It Off." Two more albums, "Look My Way" and "Hold It Down" were released in 1998 and 2000 respectively, both of which received good reviews from critics and were met with positive feedback from fans, before the band decided to call it a day in early 2001.

The split didn’t last long however as Cricien and Hoya resurrected Madball late the next year, writing new music and touring internationally. Although the group came back in 2002, it would take until 2005 before they released a new full length album (though an EP entitled, NYHC was released in 2004,) which came in the shape of "Legacy." Since the release of the record, Madball have continued to perform all over the world, cementing their place as one of the true greats of the New York hardcore scene, easily ranking highly with Agnostic Front and Sick Of It All. They’ve also been releasing new music, with "Infiltrate The System" hitting the shelves in 2007, before their most recent record, "Empire" was released last year. The Madball name is now proving to transcend genres and the band has become rather popular amongst the New York hip-hop scene, being referenced by the likes of Ill Bill and Q Unique, not least in part to Cricien's own hip-hop outputs under the name Freddy Madball, the moniker with which he released his solo album, "Catholic Guilt."

Madball - "Down By Law"

Madball - "Pride"

Madball - "It's My Life/Lockdown/Friend Or Foe"

Madball - "Heavenhell"

Diamond Oz's avatar

Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com for four years and has been a metal fan for ten years, going so far as to travel abroad for metal shows.

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10 Comments on "Sunday Old School: Madball"

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hellrat's avatar

Member

1. hellrat writes:

hey, Cool! I had no idea about these dudes....and nah, i didn't start in a band till i was 15, but one of my primary current collaborators had a happy punk band with his brother and a buddy when they were 13...they called it 'one man down' cause they could never find a fourth dude to join! i have a disc of some of their sh** somewhere...its fvckin classic, funny sh!t !

oh ya, i DO remember those fvcked up madball toys when i was a kid ! :)

\m/ SOS \m/

# Apr 17, 2011 @ 10:46 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
deathbringer's avatar

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2. deathbringer writes:

Good stuff - I had no idea he was so young when he started up Madball.

# Apr 17, 2011 @ 11:43 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
3. R Tenney writes:

Aah yea Oz;good piece on these NYHC legends! As far as insane shows go; I put Madball shows up their high at the top. Right there with AF and Cro Mags. Definitely crazy violent pits. Still keep up with what they do release wise;and see em live whenever I can.

# Apr 17, 2011 @ 12:56 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
RTB's avatar

Member

4. RTB writes:

never got into these guys music really, saw them live once in 05 on the SOTU tour...not a fan but again another good sunday old school piece...

# Apr 17, 2011 @ 1:44 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
5. Snake Boy writes:

Cool article about these guys. I never noticed Freddy was this young when he formed this band either.

# Apr 17, 2011 @ 2:44 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
METAL213's avatar

Member

6. METAL213 writes:

Another excellent SOS pick. True old school hardcore legends!

# Apr 17, 2011 @ 6:38 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Trendkill91's avatar

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7. Trendkill91 writes:

Set it Off is such agood song! Classic Hardcore!!

# Apr 17, 2011 @ 8:55 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
xEdgeKidx's avatar

Member

8. xEdgeKidx writes:

I remember seeing these guys in January, it was awesome when Freddie's older brother joined the stage and sang for Madball, back then it was Freddie joining the stage.

# Apr 18, 2011 @ 11:42 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
BrunoHockalugie's avatar

Member

9. BrunoHockalugie writes:

Great article Oz!

I loved Agnostic Front, but never got into Madball. Keep the SOS column's coming

# Apr 18, 2011 @ 12:51 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
OlafBerzerker's avatar

Member

10. OlafBerzerker writes:

thanks oz, not big on madball i liked the clips above more than i fig i would have. i heard them on those punx comps they put out. and then i forget about them till one of those comps comes thru rotation

# Apr 18, 2011 @ 11:41 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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