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Of Mice & Men, ‘Restoring Force’ – Album Review

Of Mice & Men Restoring Force
Rise Records

Of Mice & Men are in a state of transition and after a listen to the band’s new ‘Restoring Force’ album, it appears as though the sky’s the limit. Since the group’s last album, the band has added bassist Aaron Pauley of Jamie’s Elsewhere and his clean vocals have added the perfect compliment to frontman Austin Carlile.

The group also took the next step in terms of production, deciding to switch things up after two records with Joey Sturgis. Acclaimed rock producer David Bendeth challenged the band to re-evaluate their writing process and it shows. Drummer Tino Arteaga recently stated, “He really challenged us to try and step out of our comfort zone and try to write songs that we felt like gave us a different outlook on how to write songs and how to formulate and put things together.”

The album kicks off with a brutal assault on ‘Public Service Announcement,’ with Arteaga’s drums really sending the song off to the races. ‘Feels Like Forever’ is one of the album’s standout tracks, showing off a more rock side to the band, with an infectious guitar groove opening the song and heavy bass giving the track an ebb and flow sway. Meanwhile, the tracks ‘Another You’ and the contemplative album closer ‘Space Enough to Grow’ also show a more melodic side to the band.

But fans who are looking for the crushing Of Mice & Men still have plenty of gristle to chew on. The chaotic and deeply personal ‘Bones Exposed’ is sure to generate moshpit awesomeness live and the intense build of the chugging guitars on ‘You Make Me Sick’ lead to one of the heaviest and catchiest moments on the record. Plus, ‘You’re Not Alone’ has a beat that feels like its ready to knock down a door.

All in all, Of Mice & Men have broadened their horizons with the ‘Restoring Force’ album and given fans more of themselves on disc than normal. As Carlile recently stated, “Just the fact that we can give our fans and our family and our true listeners a piece of us, that says a lot. That means the world to me.” ‘Restoring Force’ stands as a pivotal piece of work in what will be the band’s musical legacy.

4 Stars

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