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Of Mice & Men

OfMiceAndMenRestoring Force
Rise Records

A lot has happened since Of Mice & Men released 2011’s The Flood, and right from the opening screams of ‘You all have something to say’ in Public Service Announcement it is clear that this is a band with bones to pick and a new direction to match.

Restoring Force is not a complete departure from the Of Mice & Men of three years ago, their sound still relying on some of the textbook metalcore elements they have become so comfortable with. Instead the band find themselves in a state of transition, still holding on to pieces of that metalcore sound while fighting to cement themselves in the nu-metal direction you will hear on this album. Leaving Joey Sturgis behind and moving in a new direction with David Bendeth as producer was the right move, challenging them as songwriters and forcing them out of that comfort zone.

From the chaotic and deeply personal Bones Exposed and the intense chugging guitars in You Make Me Sick leading to one of the album’s heaviest moments to the rockier Feels Like Forever with its (almost) pop tinged chorus and infectious guitar grooves or the softer, more melodic sound found on Another You and Identity Disorder.

Restoring Force covers the full spectrum that is the new and improved Of Mice & Men, beginning with a guttural roar and ending with the softly tender Space Enough To Grow, flowing between a variety of sounds along the way. While this may seem like the anti-climax, what it really shows is the span of this new sound and the potential it holds once Of Mice & Men really lock onto it.

GLORIA BRANCATISANO