Straight out of Zanesville, Ohio, Mind Crimes bring hope to all who stand oppressed. Their debut EP Slave to the Mind brings forth an aggressive outburst of disoriented youth through a potent mixture of melodic hooks and abrasive pummelings. Self-released, Mind Crimes impressively stakes their claim as a powerful force within the hardcore mentality.
Focusing in on some of the basic mundanity of society; stress, work, religion and compassion, Mind Crimes tackle these issues in an easily accessible manner. Through straight forward lyrics and powerful vocals executed in true modern hardcore fashion, these messages are delivered by the band with a great and powerful ease. This can be seen on one of the more impressive tracks on the record, the closer, “Echoes.” A slow drudgingly painful riff eases the listener into the song, Blacklisted comes to mind, soon to be quickly cut out by a powerful burst of guitar and drum noise. When this explosion of energy ends vocalist Drew Stoits emerges in the forefront. “Afraid to lose the love that he’ll give / If she doesn’t give herself to him,” Stoits vengefully declares, claiming victory for the downtrodden women of the world.
Sex is a powerful tool; too often it is abused and turned into tool of power. Mind Crimes and Stoits powerfully use their awareness and the gift of the hardcore community to fight against these societal wrongs. The song comes to a powerful end in another Blacklisted-esque manner. Clashing guitars crash over and through the ears of the listener as the drums forcefully build up into a head bobbing, head banger outro of sorts. Thrash metal solo included.
Beginning at the end leaves much open space for investigation and Mind Crimes does not disappoint. From the Comeback Kid-esque melodic speedster “Mountains,” with its turbulent circle pit ragers that accumulate into overpowering sing-alongs, to the standard hardcore "fuck work" jam “Managerial Slime,” (complete with an outstanding C3PO/Solo introduction and Kids Like Us-influenced outro) Slave to the Mind provides a wide sampler platter of hardcore tastes. Sounding like Comeback Kid at one moment and Blacklisted the next, it is apparent that Mind Crimes are no newcomers to the modern hardcore scene.
Perhaps what remains now is solidifying these influence into one cohesive unit. It comes with time, but for Mind Crimes it may not take long.Varying the songs leaves the listener with a certain level of excitement as to what will come next. However, it is tough to distinguish Mind Crimes from their predecessors. What they do have is pure anger and enthusiasm; it practically oozes from the pores of my Macbook. This is crucial for any band, especially playing hardcore. Only originality and song structure leave something to be desired. The variations within certain songs takes away from the groove of the EP, melody abruptly transitioning to discordance can leave a sour taste in the mouths of many unless properly executed. All criticism set aside, however, Slave to the Mind works as a great jumping point for Mind Crimes and is a solid example of the modern hardcore’s influence on the scene today.