Release Date: September 27th, 2010
Label: Rise Records
Website: None available
Named after a very popular novel, Of Mice & Men are just yet another new and upcoming American post-hardcore planning to change the rulebook on the genre and scene. Formed through ex-Attack Attack! (that’s the American one, not the Welsh) vocalist Austin Carlile, Of Mice & Men are a band formed from ashes and to propel themselves infront of their rivals. Their debut self-titled effort is the catalyst intended to do just that for them.
Expect what’s usually been churning out of the US post-hardcore scene lately; long song titles like ‘The Ballad Of Tommy Clayton & The Rawding Millionaire’, expectable breakdowns, and in the example of many of the albums tracks such as ‘They Don’t Call It The South For Nothing’ bitter yet somewhat violent lyrics: “I said I’d fight back / I never said that I’d fight fair”. Over-production on this album has brought away the intensity and brute force the band are trying to portray from start to finish too, with too many overlaying vocals and effects dampening the impact it could potential have if the outcome were different. The biggest victim of such unnecessary studio tricks is the outro of album closer ‘This One’s For You’, turning what could’ve been a exciting chugfest into a generic borefest.
On the positive side of things, the album and band’s intentions are clearly to bring fast-paced yet melodic and meaningful songs to their intended fanbase. Clean vocalist Jaxin Hall and screamer Austin Carlile rub against one another with great fluency, namely in ‘Second & Sebring’ bringing a reminicence of a slightly earlier Underoath than we’re familiar with today. The drum work of Valentino Arteaga is another feature to take notice of with this record, bringing things a step forward than they would do without him.
Of Mice & Men and their self-title are nothing new or inspiring, the album won’t be remembered and it definitely won’t set them ahead of the endless pack of clones producing the same things themselves. Their intentions are positive and clearly enclosed in the 10-track, but in the way it was delivered there’s room for much improvement.
Written by Zach Redrup