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The first 7 inch of the band Madball was called Ball Of Destruction. The vocalist Freddie was the little brother of Roger Miret of Agnostic Front. As you can see from the cover’s back side, still young when he started the band. At the time of this recording the band consisted out of three Agnostic Front members and Freddie. Roger Miret played the bass guitar(1), Vinnie Stigma played the guitar(1) and the band had someone from Agnostic Front on drums as well. So tells us the hype-sticker of the release.
In fine New York Hardcore tradition the first song starts with a bass line intro. It’s about the tensions they experienced on the streets and in the music clubs between them and the police (“you got the badge”). What they see as fun isn’t perceived as so by authorities. “You’ll never understand us”.
‘Discriminate me’ tries to give voice to the people of the New York Hardcore scene that got discriminated for doing what they do, the shows they attended and dressing like they did. And got denied some rights for that, like finding a place to live and finding a job. Freddie tells those people that nonetheless he will survive.
‘We Should Care’ is about the fact that people from the scene live in fear and that some get killed on the streets. It’s a call for caring about the people that are close and a call for them to stand together in unity.
On the b-side we find the song ‘Get Out’. It’s about the fact that the Hardcore scene as they live it, isn’t for everybody. And he tells the people who he doesn’t want to belong to get out.
‘Last Warning’ is an Agnostic Front song. It’s also about the fact that they don’t want people who put them down and are always on their back. They don’t want them to hang around no more.
And ‘Fight’ is about how they won’t take instructions from other sub cultures. And that they decide what is wrong or what is right. And that if this is what it takes they are ready to fight.
Finally we have ‘It’s My Life’ … And I do what I want.
We can draw some conclusions. They struggled to keep their underground culture alive and growing. They got discriminated for it. Faced violence from other underground cultures, police and gangs. But that didn’t hold them back to keep fighting for Hardcore’s and their own survival. Eventually they survived and released 9 albums and about 14 singles throughout their life span. Their last album was released in 2018(1).
This 7 inch plays at 45 rounds per minute and has short energetic songs that last around 60 seconds (see the numbers in white on the vinyl label). Music filled with break downs (short interruptions of the songs to build up the tension), solo guitars, solo bass lines, the very fast rhythmic drumming and aggressive vocals all constitute what Hardcore is. And define the genre. This stripped down musical style was influential and was inspiring to many bands that followed.
(1) Discogs .com