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The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
OF MICE AND MEN RESTORING FORCE ALBUM REVIEW 2014

 

OF MICE AND MEN - RESTORING FORCE

WARNER MUSIC AUSTRALIA

JANUARY 24 2014

 

 

Of Mice & Men have worked hard over the last few years to climb that Metal ladder and on January 24 their third studio album ‘Restoring Force’ will be released Rise Records. The album is the follow up to the band’s 2011’s acclaimed release ‘The Flood’, which solidified the California-based five-piece as a leading force in modern heavy music.  ‘Restoring Force’ was recorded at House of Loud in New Jersey and produced by David Bendeth (Paramore, Papa Roach, A Day To Remember, Breaking Benjamin).

 

After the accolades thrown at the feet of ‘The Flood’ the big question of course is how does this one stack up? Well the answer is mostly yes it does but with some minor disclaimers.  Three albums in Of Mice and Men are almost as much ‘Nu-Metal’ as they are ‘Metalcore’ and whilst they tend to mix it up a bit on ‘Restoring Force’ they haven’t strayed so far from their signature sound to bother many long-term fans.


 
‘Public Service Announcement’ that begins the album, strangely is rather ‘workmanlike’ – heavy guitars and growls to ease you in but without that trademark intensity we’ve come to expect. It’s almost as if the band is playing it safe before hitting you with the meatier stuff.

 

Things immediately get better with the gloriously sleazy and altogether more interesting ‘Feels Like Forever’ which is right up there with the best here. ‘Bones Exposed’, the second single from the album is pretty damn good too if not entirely representative of the album as a whole.

 

If you can’t get enough of a quite refined guttural/clean vocal sound then  Of Mice and Men do it as well as anyone, if anything they’ve upped the melody quotient here though, which can’t hide even though they try and smash it out of the park on ‘Would You Still Be There’. This may just be the bands most Melodic offering to date.

 

As the songs roll on they get better too. ‘Glass Hearts’ is where the band really starts to get into their stride and ‘Another You’ that follows is more glass from the same glass. Everyone of course will be familiar with ‘You’re Not Alone’ the first single, which great as it sounded at the time certainly isn’t the best here.

 

Closing track ‘Space Enough to Grow’ may surprise you with the low-key opening and strong mellow vocal, it’s like a punctuation that leaves you wondering what happens next…

 

Damn this is a strong album by a band that sounds full of confidence and ideas and not afraid to take it down a notch either. Their best yet? You betcha!

 

Of Mice & Men is Austin Carlile (vocals), Alan Ashby (guitar), Valentino Arteaga (drums), Aaron Pauley (vocals / bass) and Phil Manansala (guitar).

 

 

by Mark Diggins

 

 

 

OF MICE AND MEN RESTORING FORCE ALBUM REVIEW 2014