By Damon W. Root – Reason
Writing in the Village Voice, rock critic Jason Buhrmester celebrates the new 25th anniversary re-issue of Victim in Pain, the landmark debut album by New York hardcore punk band Agnostic Front. Featuring 11 songs clocking in at around 15 minutes, Victim in Pain combined the rapid-fire sound of bands like Black Flag and The Ramones with Agnostic Front’s own uniquely aggressive style. The result was an underground classic that has influenced bestselling artists ranging from the West Coast ska-punks Rancid to the metal bands Slayer and Pantera. As Buhrmester correctly observes, Victim in Pain “deserves to be ranked within a stage dive’s distance of Velvet Underground and Ramones classics on any list of important and influential New York records.”
Buhrmester also makes an absolutely essential point about the history of the famous New York rock club CBGB, which first opened its doors in 1973 and played host to many of the great punk, hardcore, and New Wave bands before closing its doors three years ago. “When CBGB belched up its last breath in late 2006,” Buhrmester writes, “the parade of nostalgia focused on Blondie, Television, and other ’70s bands, largely ignoring the ’80s, when hardcore bands like Agnostic Front kept the club afloat.”
Freddy Madball is a New York hardcore legend. That’s a fact. Anybody who wants to deny it can step on up right now and we’ll see what happens. Yeah, that’s what I thought.
The kid’s been rocking stages since he was literally a pre-teen. Act like you don’t know; but dude’s entire family is the NYHC scene. He was raised by his older brother Roger Miret of Agnostic Front fame and fostered by another AF legend Vinnie Stigma. He’s shared stages with every band of any importance that came out of New York’s Lower East Side Hardcore scene and has recorded some of the genre’s most classic material. As a matter of fact; just the other day I was talking with a good friend of mine and we were reminiscing on Madball‘s first 7″ Ball of Destruction. His quote was something along the lines of “yeah, that first Madball record is about as close to flawless as you can get.” Ever since that record dropped Freddy has been steadily putting it out there: from Madball to Hazen Street to his newest venture alongside long-time friend and producer DJ Stress.