5 Greatest Crossover Thrash Bands: Mindforce Vocalist Jay Peta's Picks | Revolver

5 Greatest Crossover Thrash Bands: Mindforce Vocalist Jay Peta's Picks

Peta puts his own heavy spin on the metallized hardcore canon
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Mindforce are one of the hottest bands in hardcore right now, and one of the best crossover thrash bands of at least the last decade. Their sophomore album, New Lords (out September 16th via Triple B), is made up of truly supreme nuggets of metallized hardcore that pull from the sound of late-Eighties NYHC — but also, something different.

That "x" factor that makes their songs so bouncy yet beastly can be credited to vocalist Jay Peta and guitarist Mike Shaw's affection for their hometown influences. Peta hails from New York's Hudson Valley region and came up in hardcore during the late Nineties, where a uniquely heavy breed of hardcore was emanating from the amps of local bands like All Out War, Dissolve and End of One, similar to what was coming out of the nearby Troy, New York region from self-proclaimed "troycore" bands like Stigmata, Dying Breed, War-Time Manner, etc.

Given what he moshed to growing up, the Mindforce frontman developed a distinct perspective on crossover hardcore, and he has a pet theory that the mid-Nineties sound he loves actually marked a second wave of crossover. Instead of drawing from traditional thrash-metal like the Cro-Mags, Killing Time and Agnostic Front did in the late Eighties, this crossover was being influenced by death metal— and every death metal band's favorite thrash band, Slayer.

"It was almost like the early '90s and late '80s, everybody was about Metallica and Anthrax, and then the mid to late '90s, everybody went Slayer," Peta says. "I'm a sucker for the crossover metal shit, because that's the sound of my scene. All Out War, Mindforce and [fellow Hudson Valley up-and-comers] Age of Apocalypse all sound completely different, but we all got Slayer riffs."

Below, Peta makes the case for some unconventional inclusions in the crossover canon, while also singing the praises of foundational bands both old and new.


I'm going to start off with Metallica, because in articles and interviews with the New York hardcore guys and a lot of people in New York — and I don't know if this is true — but I've heard people say that when Kill 'Em All came out, it changed the sound of hardcore. Everybody just wanted to sound like that. So I'm going to put them in there. I think Metallica is a huge influence on the crossover sound.

Power Trip

I think we'd be crazy not to mention Power Trip. They're the modern crossover band of our time. Such a force live, too. Drummer is such a killer, too. Power Trip has redefined thrash through a modern lens. Rest in peace, Riley.


That's my favorite crossover band and favorite New York hardcore band of all time. I think they're the most soulful New York hardcore band. And it's all about Eddie [Sutton, vocalist]. To me, they are the kings of playing the thrash riff with the hip-hop drums. And that's the definition of what Mindforce is in my brain. It's metal crossover hardcore riffs with groovy, hip-hop inspired drums. 


I consider Merauder a crossover band. A lot of people wouldn't agree with me ... But dude, if you listen to Merauder and All Out War, it's kind of just metal. And it's the same way that Leeway, for that time period, was kind of just metal. It's almost like Merauder, All Out War, Darkside NYC, those bands were harder, rougher, more second wave. And that's my own hot take. Don't get in touch with me, metalheads. That's what I think.

All Out War

All Out War [are] one of my favorite bands of all time. I can't explain what it was like seeing them in my area in the '90s. It was just the funnest — but also the scariest. And for a band that was so metal, with a sound that was so crossed over from the metal world, every different type of hardcore kid was going off to them in my area. It always made an impression on me. They might be one of the heaviest hardcore bands all the time.