Of Mice & Men
Restoring Force


3.0
good

Review

by Daniel Davis USER (21 Reviews)
January 22nd, 2014 | 152 replies | 15,656 views


Release Date: 01/28/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Despite lifting much of its sound from last year's Sempiternal, Restoring Force is a competent and varied radio rock/hardcore album worth at least a couple spins.

11 of 16 thought this review was well written

Of Mice & Men is best known as the spawn of Austin Carlile, ex-Attack Attack! vocalist and current Oli Sykes impersonator, and Rise Records. He brought the hardcore elements of his previous band over to the new project, stripped them of all of traces of cheesy synths, found someone with actual talent to sing the choruses, and managed to release a serviceable crowd-pleasing pop-hardcore album. There was some turbulence in the lineup after that, including a period where Austin left the band and was replaced with current Glass Cloud vocalist Jerry Rouche (his only recording with the band was a cover of ***ing "Blame It" of all things), but eventually he returned to the band with guitarist Alan Ashby and put out "The Flood", which essentially continued the direction they had pursued with the first album, albeit with much more atmosphere and variety. They were at an artistic high, until the departure of aforementioned clean vocalist Shayley Bourget.

It's unsurprising that a band that was essentially the creation of a record label would change sounds at the drop of a hat, but given the consistency between the first two albums, it was a bit of a jolt when the bonus disc of new songs accompanying the rerelease of The Flood sounded exactly like a worse version of BMTH's latest album at the time, "Really Pretentiously Long Title I'm Too Lazy To Remember". The world kind of lost interest in the band for a while, even amidst the interesting announcement of Jamie's Elsewhere vocalist Aaron Pauley as the band's new clean singer, as what Shayley was doing with his new project sounded far more interesting and had much more press than what OM&M was inevitably working on. Fast forward to now, almost three years after their last album, and we finally have the result of the new formula. It's a small miracle, but Restoring Force manages to be a catchy radio rock album that's much better when it's using the songwriting talents of Aaron and guitarist Alan Ashby and not relying on tired screaming from Austin.

The album hits its high points early, with the classic OM&M sounding opener "Public Service Announcement" and the two most single ready songs here, "Feels Like Forever" and "Would You Still Be There", which sound more like Three Days Grace than anything from the band's back catalog. The change, scary as it may sound, results in some great and hard hitting choruses and riffs, the likes of which radio rock hasn't seen for a long time. "Bones Exposed" and "Glass Hearts" strongly evoke modern era Bring Me The Horizon, with similar production further highlighting the comparison. The verses are standard hardcore fare, but the choruses are expertly sung by Aaron (although you can detect more than a hint of pitch correction). And "Another You" is perhaps the most radio friendly track on the album. The back half of the album suffers heavily in memorability, but it's certainly fun while it's playing, and the closing track "Space Enough To Grow" is ethereal and well placed as a closer.

Perhaps the biggest flaw in Restoring Force is lasting appeal. It's fun enough to be captivating while it's playing, and it's catchy enough to stay in your head for a few days. But this one doesn't do enough different to deserve to stay on your musical radar for very long at all. The heavy elements aren't well done enough to do much more than make you wish you were listening to similar bands that pull it off much better. The radio rock parts are great, to the point where some of these songs might get well deserved major airplay on big stations if Rise plays its cards right (larger question - is traditional radio even relevant anymore?), and they're well placed as the focus of the album, but there's not quite enough of it to balance out the blander, forced hardcore side. Still though, it's an admirable thing to take steps towards a new sound with a market as guaranteed as this band has, and Restoring Force proves that Of Mice & Men can be good at radio rock if they try.



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user ratings (185)
Chart.
2.9
good
other reviews of this album
lukenagel95 (2.5)
The album lacks passion, it lacks originality, and most importantly it lacks power. All of the voca...

DelPaxtonsTheMan (3.5)
The Illogical Succession to The Flood, but a valiant effort nonetheless....

ZachNyeScienceGuy (3)
You may not see it immediately, and the changes at times may be subtle, but Of Mice & Men are growin...


Comments:Add a Comment 
paradox1216
January 21st 2014



333 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm sure the tone is all over the place here, but I was feeling a bit mixed on this myself. I was sure I was gonna hate it, and then found myself actually having fun.

Digging: Animals As Leaders - The Joy of Motion

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
January 21st 2014



9467 Comments


hey bud < 3

is this really a radio rock / hardcore record? I always thought these cats were strictly metalcore

Digging: Koan Sound - Dynasty

paradox1216
January 21st 2014



333 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

ello ;D

yeah, this album is about 50% radio rock, and about 50% Sempiternal b-sides

aside from the first song this is nothing like their past material

SnakeDelilah
January 21st 2014



3435 Comments


'yeah, this album is about 50% radio rock, and about 50% Sempiternal b-sides'

That sounds fucking awful.

Digging: The National - High Violet

paradox1216
January 21st 2014



333 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Austin is by far the worst part of this album

SnakeDelilah
January 21st 2014



3435 Comments


w.t.f why are there two Of Mice & Men pages?

elbaliem
January 21st 2014



665 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

radiocore

paradox1216
January 21st 2014



333 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I know i tried to add this to the normal one and it took me to this other one :o site glitch i guess

also just to make sure this doesn't get taken down for some reason, it's streaming on iTunes Radio (because people totally use that): https://itunes.apple.com/us/station/idra.793325003

bloc
January 21st 2014



34489 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This isn't as bad as I thought it would be but still...probably a 3 or so.

Digging: Gamma Ray - Empire of the Undead

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
January 21st 2014



48522 Comments


If Sempiternal is a 3 I'm sure this is a 2 at best

Digging: More Than Life - What's Left Of Me

Funeralopolis
January 21st 2014



10427 Comments


Bones Exposed is such a blatant Sempiternal ripoff it is crah

Digging: CunninLynguists - Oneirology

titanslayer
January 21st 2014



803 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I might listen to this just to see how bad it is

paradox1216
January 21st 2014



333 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

the two released singles are two of the blandest tracks on here, though bones exposed grew on me

TheSpirit
January 21st 2014



16657 Comments


it's disappointing they took this route after how awesome the flood was

Digging: Sexdrome - Grown Younger

titanslayer
January 21st 2014



803 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The flood wasn't bad but it was boring

silentstar
January 21st 2014



1841 Comments


the verses/breakdowns were boring but idc: Shayley's melodies were beast, especially on Let Live/Hendowski

bloc
January 21st 2014



34489 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

The intro of You Make Me Sick sounds a bit too much like Slipknot's intro to Before I Forget

theacademy
January 21st 2014



27669 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

we about to let the dragon out

na na na na na na

-sisqo

titanslayer
January 21st 2014



803 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah Shayley is great

BassDemon333
January 21st 2014



3291 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Austin does sound a lot like Sempiternal-era Oli on some of these tracks, especially Break Free. Aaron is the best thing about this album though, his cleans on Another You and Identity Disorder are great.

Digging: Chevelle - La Gargola



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