It’s easy to forget that Of Mice and Men are still relatively young in their career. It feels like you have been hearing about them for years, yet in reality they are barely five years old and Restoring Force is only their third album. It’s the album they will be hoping pushes them away from their peers, with a bit of change in sound away from their metalcore roots and an embracing of the chunky bouncy riffs that we all associate with that brand of metal we describe as nu.
In saying that, a recent Metal Hammer interview actually saw the band themselves adamantly denying that nu-metal was a genre they could be lumped in with. Well I’m sorry to say it lads but you are wrong, because nu-metal has lifted it’s leg and pissed all over this album. Right from the start of “Public Service Announcement”, with it’s big riffs and bounce along moments, it’s clear that bands like Papa Roach have drilled their way into the minds of these young men. “You’re Not Alone” is infectious enough to rival the nu-metal of old and nearly every song on this album has a big riff and an even bigger chorus.
Yet you can kind of see where the guys are coming from. That above description maybe makes this album seem like good, dumb fun. Which in reality is doing a discredit. There are some intelligent well crafted moments on Restoring Force, with the likes of “Another You” actually owing more to Deftones than any of the less intelligent nu-metal brethren. Lead singers Austin Carlile and Phil Manansala very successfully trade vocals on the likes of “Break Free”, a more introverted track, and closer “Space Enough to Grow” is atmospheric and slowed down, ensuring that you leave this album in a completely different style to how you started it. There are more to these guy than you might believe on first impression.
This is a good album, it’s just not yet a great album. It’s still in that stage where you can pick out the influences, with the likes of Papa Roach, Deftones and even Bring Me The Horizon (which it has to be said is happening more and more) still playing a big part in shaping how these guys sound. Yet it suggests that there is a great album in this band, once they solidify a sound for themselves there is nothing to stop this band exploding. They can write big songs and that’s half of the battle. As things stand I would suggest you go out and grab yourself a copy of Restoring Force because there is more than enough here to keep you going.
Choice Cuts: Another You, You’re Not Alone