Mindforce New Lords LP

Upstate New York hardcore giants MINDFORCE return with their excellent second LP New Lords on Triple B Records. It’s been four years of heavy touring and headlining festivals since their debut Excalibur, and it shows—MINDFORCE is sharper than ever. The band is a well-oiled machine and frontman Jay Peta’s performance is worth the cost of admission alone. Opener and title track “New Lords” is a shout-along headbanger leading into “Survival is Vengeance,” a no-frills thrashing that showcases Peta’s strong vocals. At the album’s halfway point, the band shows (a little) mercy with epic standout “Thirteen and Mean,” the album’s longest track and what feels like the centerpiece. Awesome mid-tempo muted riffs and white-hot solos lead to a fake-out ending followed by a stomping final thirty seconds. A few rippers later, we arrive at closer “Rotten,” which sees MINDFORCE go out with a bang. Beginning the song with ominous metal-riffing, the band takes us through a whirlwind of different speeds and styles before inviting the listener back to the pit to get their ass kicked one last time. MINDFORCE are masters of high-energy live performances and they’ve successfully captured that same energy on New Lords.

Mindforce Swingin’ Swords, Choppin’ Lords 12″

Seven minutes of heaven for fans of heavy bouncing hardcore that facilitates swinging fists and (hopefully) a variant of beautiful mosh styles. The thrashy guitars squeal then fade, acting as a precursor to pig-pile-inducing shouts, all of which allow me to imagine the claps and boastful “Wooooh”s elicited from hardcore fest attendees. Between the stomp and crawl of “Fratello” and the quick oddly abridged song structures, MINDFORCE’s formula takes equally from heavy metal, thrash and early ’90s NYHC synthesized into their own quick, twisting, simplified bursts. It works for them and I now understand the hype, but I would like to see some ideas explored further. This 12” leaves me wondering two things: how many members of MINDFORCE are Italian-American, and how can we reverse market forces so that 7″s are once again the cheapest means of putting out records?