Best of 2016 Playlist

July 1, 2016

Of Mice and Men - "Pain" Single Review

A song whose title says it all. Of Mice and Men have been hard at work with this album for some time now. Following frontman Austin Carlile's heart surgery, they've been in the studio crafting their upcoming 4th album, "Cold World". The new release is set for a September 9, 2016 release date. In the meantime, the band have gifted fans with the lead single, "Pain". 

To buy this single and preorder the album on iTunes, click this (link). And be sure to catch the band on tour with Slipknot and Marilyn Manson this summer, and in the UK this September. 

Like so many other meta bands of their generation, Of Mice and Men have been slowly moving from modern metalcore toward a nu-metal meets industrial metal meets metalcore. In spite of these stylistic changes, "Pain" is one of the heaviest songs we've heard from the band since their "The Flood" era. 

But aside from the guitar grooves and double bass hits, there's not to much to the song. The lyrics aren't anything new. The song's called "Pain", so you instantly know the lyrics will deal with feeling pain, getting over pain, and accepting pain on varying levels. The delivery of the lyrics may also turn some listeners off. Austin Carlile's vocals are drastically different from anything he's previously delivered (And Aaron Pauley's clean vocals are notably missing from this song). For this particular track,  Carlile loses his deep metal growls, and opts for something that is a tad more acceptable on mainstream metal radio. One could classify the vocals as somewhere between Oli Sykes' grating screams, and Corey Taylor's more traditional metal screaming. 

In fact this new song sounds like something taken straight off one of Slipknot's albums. "Restoring Force" sounded like Linkin Park. Guess the band got tired of pulling inspiration from them and moved on to Slipknot. Maybe they'll just keep running down a list of heavy metal icons (yes we're calling Linkin Park a metal icon). Which is a shame since OM&M are capable of so much more (evident in 2011's "The Flood"). Sure Of Mice and Men have never been one of those bands who could do no wrong. But the direction they're heading has a very important fork. They can either stay with Rise and write more of the same, or break away to another niche label and write something new. 

But the huge, deer-in-headlights problem lies in (you guessed it!) the production. Why of why does Rise Records always have to go and fuck their bands by hiring producers who bury what good instrumentals there are in shitty effects and electronics? The song's main hook is undercut by the same annoying effects that were featured in the intro. Sure some people may like them, and find the addition adds another level to an otherwise monotonous nu metal track. 

And it's not just the effects that are hallmarks of "Risecore". The overly chugged guitars, overuse of China/crash cymbals, and the standard formula we've seen in their other metal signees (i.e. Memphis May Fire, Issues, etc) While those in the bridge of the song aren't as offensive, the industrial ones used throughout the song serve no purpose. Other than opening the band to fans of bands like Nine Inch Nails, the aforementioned Slipknot, or Linkin Park

Summary -
The song shows promise for the band, if only they could break away from Rise Records. Because without the shackles of "Risecore" the band could break out into something very unique and different from other bands of similar styles. This is still a decent listen, once you get past the horrid effects. It's a guilty pleasure, which suits this band because they are a guilty pleasure band. 
Rating - 7.5/10