Of Mice & Men
When Of Mice & Men released their self-titled record in 2010, probably no one would have guessed that they would make a record like Cold World just six years later. Heavier than tourmates Linkin Park’s radio rock, yet no longer as destructive as their more underground and departed counterparts, OM&M now occupy a grey area that’s increasingly difficult to define.
The rock giants have surpassed their initial metalcore sound on Cold World. Going forward, it’s abundantly clear we won’t ever hear a song like “They Don’t Call It The South For Nothing,” “YDG” or “Second & Sebring” from them. Furious breakdowns do peek through on Cold World, even as the band hammer their flag into the mountain face of alternative and hard rock. OM&M hang on to the remnants of their heavier side with “Pain” (the record’s first single approximates something best described as a Slipknot/Sworn In mashup), keeping the unclean vocals very much part of the record as a whole. “The Lie” and “Relentless” continue to deliver heaviness in a new way for the band, so that crucial element is not totally lost so much as it is transfigured. However, tracks like “Game Of War” and “The Hunger” take the band’s new sound all over the rock map, bringing the kings of the Rise Records roster sound more like the early-2000s haunting, atmospheric alt-rock band A Perfect Circle than anything resembling modern metalcore.
In the end, Cold World is like that one-of-a-kind treasure you found tucked away in a box in your attic after who knows how many years, that’s just now seeing the light of day. Sounding like Breaking Benjamin one second, Skillet the next with a little bit of Rage Against The Machine to follow (“Relentless”), Cold World is, in the truest sense of the word, an evolution. Of Mice & Men, like many bands who achieve great success after their first few records, are no longer the band they once were. Their new album marks a new chapter of growth for the band. Fans should embrace Cold World like a curious traveller in a new place, observant and aware that the world has changed and there are truly a lot of great things to discover here.
Rise Records http://riserecords.com