First things first- this is an absolutely unrelenting, steamroller of a record. Coming from Poughkeepsie, NY- Mindforce really put themselves on the map with their amazing split with Dead Heat this past year, but I hadn’t expected them to come out hitting this hard. Excalibur is 11 tracks of no nonsense, hard as fuck crossover with a foot very deep in the late 80s NYHC camp. The first two Leeway records came to mind immediately during my first listen, aided by 84′-85′ era Metallica and classic galloping riffs in Slayer’s lane. It’s generally lame to compare new stuff to the most ubiquitous classics, but Mindforce takes from that in a refreshing, very energetic way. What’s mostly different than their past releases is the urgency and cohesion of every track here, one after another, with no moment to even consider skipping a bit. Side A is mostly bangers on the short side, Fangs of Time having one of the best riffs I’ve heard all year. The title track is the centerpiece of the album-you can clearly see that these guys aren’t going for anything less than the most anthemic, super aggressive but still catchy jams. This record reminds me of why I got into classic NYHC in the best way possible. Side B is slightly lengthier, less direct but in no way any less punishing than side A, by leaning more towards thrash inclined HC in the vein of Animosity-era COC, the all-out assault of classic Iron Age, and the brutal intensity hallmarked by comtemporary giants Cold World and Cruel Hand. Overall this record completely slays and it’s kinda that simple. There isn’t a moment wasted here. With this record, Mindforce is one of the major players in American HC now, and this is undoubtedly my pick for the best HC record of the year. Out on Boston’s own Triple B records.
An Interview with Mei Semones
This recent Berklee graduate talks about the personal meaning behind some of her music, her bands/other musical acts, and her future plans in this interview with the Hassle