Of Mice and Men
Of Mice & Men


2.5
average

Review

by Steven Spedding USER (17 Reviews)
March 9th, 2010 | 29 replies | 7,334 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Of Mice & Men throw together a debut that tries a little too hard.

11 of 11 thought this review was well written

It was inevitable Californian metalcore band Of Mice and Men would become a household name, not because of its namesake Novella written by Steinbeck but primarily because of infamous lead singer Austin Carlile, formerly front man of Attack Attack! The band’s cringeworthy antics in music video “Stick Stickly” had gotten Attack Attack! much unwanted attention. Prior to the so called “crab-core” phenomenon Carlile exited the band and stated “personal reasons” as his reason for leaving, the music video was then produced with a new singer impersonating Carlile's vocals while the guitarists proceeded to perform those hilarious their crab impressions which catapulted them to fame. Almost immediately following his departure from Attack Attack! Carlile announced he was to front new band Of Mice and Men.

Instead of recreating the same syrupy keyboard laden metalcore sound his former band became loved (and despised) for, Of Mice and Men were taken in a different direction drawing influence from modern southern rock. The album’s problem however is the severance from Carlile’s past endeavours is not quite as clear cut as what it seems as the band all too frequently fall back into the almost pre programmed use of single note chug alongs. All too often in todays era of melodic metalcore is this used as a cover up for a lack of songwriting ideas. They persist with an incessant use of single note breakdowns and they exist in their multiples within each song, this has been shown in a number of Sumerian bands’ record’s that it doesn’t necessarily make an album immediately colourless but when used in this way there is very little entertainment to be had. Any level of experimentation with rhythm is absent apart from a few choppy sections sparsely spread throughout, (one of the few examples during the breakdown in the second half of “They Don’t Call It The South For Nothing”) and a few tasteful fills from drummer Valentino Arteaga, all sounds remarkably similar.

The southern influence comes across as a little contrived. Many of the riffs sound as if they are cut from a He Is Legend B side album, often sounding a little stale. All in all, Of Mice and Men’s sound comes across as cookie cutter, everything the same size, shape and equally as tasteless. It seems Carlile is no stranger to genericism, Of Mice and Men are comparable to his previous outfit Attack Attack! despite the obvious differences in their style. The pseudo trance synth that coated Attack Attack!’s "Someday Came Suddenly" release was as every bit generic as the neo southern rock style adopted by his latest venture. Their song structure seems dependent on a wailing southern riff to be used whenever the band is not chugging palm mutes to their hearts content.

There is however a department in which the album succeeds, the clean vocals of Shayley Bourget are a ray of light and many of the clean sections make up the highlights of the album. His sung melodies do admittedly fit appropriately with the poppy southern leads and there are particularly strong chorus’ in songs such as “The Ballad of Tommy Layton & the Rawding Millionairre”.Carlile also does an excellent job on the lead vocals, his prowess has never been called into question before and he is more than competent throughout interchanging between his most common raspy screams and the more occasional less impressive growls.

Overall, Of Mice and Men’s debut flaunts promise but is ultimately hit and miss in any terms of lasting value. There are certainly a few fun moments but it is unlikely any more than the recommended songs will remain on my iPod very long.

Recommended songs:
The Ballad of Tommy Layton & the Rawding Millionairre
They Don’t Call It The South For Nothing
YDG



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user ratings (751)
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
sspedding
March 9th 2010



4751 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

The default review for this is excellent already, I just thought I'd review something because I haven't for a while.

This is a little on the short side but probably gets the point across adequately.

HugCrewLoveRoll
March 9th 2010



612 Comments


Completely agree, album is fun, but wears thin very quick.

Comatorium.
March 9th 2010



4087 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Good review, fun for a runthrough or couple. though, in your intro: carlile got kicked out way before the stick stickly vid was made. everyone bitched cause the new guy was in the video using carlile's vocals.

pos'd, sir.

sspedding
March 9th 2010



4751 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Thanks for the information, I had absolutely no idea this was the case.

Also thanks for the pos.

EDIT: I have sorted that and updated it according to your information. Thanks again.

MacWeener
March 9th 2010



288 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Supa fly review.

Comatorium.
March 9th 2010



4087 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

also, ive never mentioned this, but Of Mice & Men is a fucking fantastic read. almost cried the first time.

sspedding
March 9th 2010



4751 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I read it for an English GCSE paper, there is a good reason it is so well regarded and best selling. That reason is probably the one you just outlined.

Ire
March 10th 2010



41746 Comments


This sucks? NOW WAAY!

Good Review, i will pos.

Comatorium.
March 10th 2010



4087 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

gets a +.5 from me cause carlile obviously knows a little literature.

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
March 10th 2010



7018 Comments


Ugh at their name. What's next, The Great Gatsby?
Oh wait Gatsby's American Dream ...

Digging: Braid - No Coast

AaronC91
March 10th 2010



11 Comments


this band fucking blows. i HATE this style of hardcore.

xxKillWithASmile
March 10th 2010



240 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is an absolutely great review, however I really like the debut. It's not amazing, but it's the stuff I liked about Attack Attack! minus the cookie cutter gouge-out-my-eyes-with-a-spork synthpop segments (so yeah, breakdowns).

WhiteWallStargazers
March 10th 2010



2647 Comments


This sounds basically like it's AA! but with a little southern thrown in

brightfireguy
March 10th 2010



86 Comments


^ agreed...and it sucks hard

PinkBlackberry
March 10th 2010



2346 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

great review as always man.

I tend to agree in most areas, it's such a promising idea that is poorly executed, kind of like attack attack!(?)

but even at the bleakest of times, theres random gems, I find John deux trois, and Farewell to shady glade to be pretty standout because I am an intro whore, and in Glade, theres a part around 1 min 45 in that for some reason gets me every time (The little murky guitar pattern that i was raving about in the greeley CD)

but with the random moments of a well put together song, the CD on a whole is a lame ass attempt at post-hardcore / metalcore mashing with another vocalist who is way too into their own sound, and should probably just go away already

sspedding
March 10th 2010



4751 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

dats rite playa

sspedding
March 10th 2010



4751 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

yo, i like the book

dansxdead
March 10th 2010



438 Comments


Good review man.

sspedding
March 10th 2010



4751 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

thanks everyone, my most successful review in terms of feedback so far.

sspedding
March 29th 2010



4751 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

well, it was..



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