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Of Mice & Men - Restoring Force Album Cover

Of Mice & Men - Restoring Force

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8.0
Of Mice & Men - Restoring Force
Record Label: Rise
Release Date: January 28, 2014
Austin Carlile has come a long way since Attack Attack!. He started his newest band, Of Mice & Men, in 2009 following his departure from his first band. He's been kicked out (or quit? who knows anymore?) of Of Mice & Men once and rejoined once again in 2011. They subsequently released The Flood that year as well which was received well by fans of the band. As of January 28, 2014 their latest album, Restoring Force has been released. With this, once again comes change for Carlile and his band.

Personally, I have never really taken a liking to Of Mice & Men's first two albums. I enjoyed moments of songs, mostly the shake-up between clean and harsh vocals done between Carlile and the band's first clean vocalist, Shayley Bourget. However, most of their records seemed like ninety percent of today's average band trying to make it the the metalcore/post-hardcore/risecore scene. Honestly, at times it gets quite difficult to distinguish between whose new song it is, between We Came As Romans and Memphis May Fire and the like. And prior to Restoring Force I lumped Of Mice & Men in with them.

Restoring Force is something entirely different for the band. From the change-up in Carlile's vocal styles, to the addition of new clean vocalist Aaron Pauley, to the obvious efforts the band has made toward not sounding like the typical risecore band, Restoring Force makes a whole new impression. The album opens with an almost nu-metal styled yelling from Carlile on the first track, "Public Service Announcement." He yells in the song, "You don't know a thing about me" and apparently we didn't. I for one didn't think he had it in him to change the vocal style he'd been using since 2007.

And it's not just Carlile. Songs like "You're Not Alone" and "Would You Still Be There" are distinctively differently styled than their previous albums. Fronted more-so by Pauley's vocals, these songs have a much more alternative rock feel; think Breaking Benjamin or Red even just slightly. The fresh styling of these songs compared to that of earlier material is a high point of the record. The somber feel of Pauley's vocals in "Another You" makes the song an interesting pick in the Of Mice & Men catalog; however, the song is paced extremely well and is a nice break in the middle of the record. It almost makes the album feel cohesive.

"Break Free" is another great moment on the record, especially around the two minute mark where the band goes into an almost 90's Tool-esque bridge that builds back into a heavy breakdown and back into the chorus. One of my favorite parts of the record comes towards the end of "Glass Hearts" at its softest part about two and a half minutes in; the sung, singled-out chorus by Pauley followed by Carlile's harsh yells juxtapose one another well well at that moment in the record.

"Bones Exposed" and "You Make Me Sick" are the heaviest songs on the record, each including shredding not previously showcased in previous material. Parts of "You Make Me Sick" could come straight off of a Slipknot record. You can almost hear a little thrash in parts of those songs, bringing to mind early Metallica records in a small way.

The record, however, isn't all bells and whistles. Some parts could be more polished. The extremely synthetically produced intro to "Identity Disorder" makes me want to skip the song every time. There are a parts where the album could feel like more of an album, rather than a collection of new things the band wants to try out.

Mentally, I keep comparing Restoring Force to The Devil Wears Prada's Dead Throne. While only slightly similar in style, each of these released feature distinct changes in their respective vocalists' singing/screaming styles. Both of these albums take on a more mature, serious feel to them. Similarly, both bands do away with joke song titles on these respective albums. If Of Mice & Men can continue to polish this sound great material should be expected from them in the future. For the first time, I'm curious about what exactly this band can do.
This review is a user submitted review from ClintMontgomery. You can see all of ClintMontgomery's submitted reviews here.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 13 of 13
08:13 PM on 01/29/14
#2
Zac Djamoos
fantasizing the sight of manhattan
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this album is awful.
07:52 PM on 02/04/14
#3
ClintMontgomery
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You think? I rather enjoyed it. But hey, to each their own.
09:29 PM on 02/04/14
#4
Niko John
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It's not that it's TERRIBLE, it's just incredibly boring. The lyrics are god awful, Aaron is severely under utilized, not showing any of the prowess of Shaley, and the album is simply too slow. It doesn't pump me up and it's not catchy enough to get stuck in my head so it just ends up being.....there.
07:29 AM on 02/05/14
#5
OFWGKTA
I'm the #1 Bitch
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Yeah, but isn't that the Yeezus cover?
10:36 AM on 02/05/14
#6
ClintMontgomery
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I don't know. I hated all their other releases but I really enjoyed this one. I guess it grew on me a little faster than it did for most other people.
04:10 PM on 02/05/14
#7
ClintMontgomery
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Yeah, but isn't that the Yeezus cover?
Apparently I didn't upload the image correctly. I changed it now.
05:41 PM on 02/05/14
#8
OFWGKTA
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Apparently I didn't upload the image correctly. I changed it now.
way to ruin my joke
06:33 PM on 02/05/14
#9
the seventeenth
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Saying WCAR, MMF, and OM&M are (were) indistinguishable from one another is the dumbest thing I've heard in a long while. Does their music share certain aspects? Yes; similar to most other bands/artists in their respective genre (hip-hop, indie, rock). That is blatant ignorance and determined disregard on your part.
12:00 PM on 02/06/14
ClintMontgomery
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Saying WCAR, MMF, and OM&M are (were) indistinguishable from one another is the dumbest thing I've heard in a long while. Does their music share certain aspects? Yes; similar to most other bands/artists in their respective genre (hip-hop, indie, rock). That is blatant ignorance and determined disregard on your part.
I said at times it gets difficult to distinguish between them, not completely indistinguishable.
02:19 PM on 02/06/14
Capulet
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love this cd
04:02 PM on 02/07/14
stevensites
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Aaron Pauley is by far one of the most talented vocalists in this genre, his contribution to TSASWC by Jamie's Elsewhere was mindblowing and any band that would put him on the backburner the way OM&M did on this record is honestly not worth supporting in my mind. A talented band knows how to properly and effectively utilize every single member, but let Austin Carlile near anything and no one else matters it seems. OM&M was never my favorite but both previous albums had their tracks that I would get into, but not a single song on this album stands out to me. The guitar is dull, the percussion is dull, Austin is overpowering and Aaron can barely break through the muddy production to let his voice shine. This album is an absolute failure to me, and it's not just because I think it's boring, but because it had so much potential and I don't think it reached it whatsoever.
09:03 AM on 02/19/14
CaptainNicotine
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I thought all of the songs on this album ran together into a gigantic slurry of boring. It all sounded like this growing trend of nu-metal worship that bands are seeming to move towards and it's pathetic. I'm hoping that it stops soon. I don't care for it and it's seeming to hit the bands that I used to enjoy the hardest. Oh well, there is always other bands to listen to. I skipped going to see them recently because I knew that they would play a LOT of stuff on this album and I just really didn't care to hear it. That's alright, if the new fans like it, whatever. I'll keep spinning The Flood and remember when it was actually a good album.

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