Of Mice & Men

01. Defy
02. Instincts
03. Back to Me
04. Sunflower
05. Unbreakable
06. Vertigo
07. Money
08. How Will You Live
09. On the Inside
10. Warzone
11. Forever YDG'n
12. If We Were Ghosts


Aaron Pauley - vocals/bass
Alan Ashby - guitar
Valentino Arteaga - drums
Phil Manansala - guitar

Of Mice & Men (2010)
The Flood (2011)
Restoring Force (2014)
Cold World (2016)


Produced by Howard Benson
Mixed by Chris Lord Alge
Mastered by Ted Jensen & Chris Athens

Released 2018-01-19
Reviewed 2018-02-02


rise records

Defy is album number five for a band who must be inspired by John Steinbeck’s work. It is an album that looks exciting enough when one looks at the cover but it is not defiant when it comes to the music or the cover. The label claims that it is an anticipated album and that the band is one of the hard rock leaders of the 21st century – guess I must have missed them as this is the first time I have heard them. So what about these well laid plans of mice and men?

Enter another one of those modern metal bands; metalcore bands or however you want to describe those groovy heavy bands that vary growled vocals with clean vocals. It isn’t really difficult to count about a legion of bands that sound like Of Mice & Men if one wants to – they are hardly what anyone would call original. Sure they make a cover of Pink Floyd’s song Money, a pretty good one at that. Other than that I think the album has a dozen pretty typical songs of an album in this genre, even the playing time feels like what the playing time on an album like this usually is.

Fantastic cannot really be used to describe an album like this, it is pretty good and the ending track as well as the Floyd cover is probably even really good. They sound just too much like anything else to really shine and make a fairly forgettable album. There is no defying anything here, rather obedience to the style in general and I personally have heard it way too many times to be impressed. As I stated the album has some strong points but is a rather average album.

Yes it is good, but it isn’t particularly exciting from a creative standpoint. It is not very memorable; the tracks just go past and fail to grab my attention except for the two mentioned tracks Money and If We Were Ghosts. Not really an album I would have missed if I had not heard it, and perhaps the best way to describe it is to claim it is devastatingly average. The well-laid plans of these mice and men didn’t turn out to be particularly exciting.





Label: Rise Records
Three similar bands: The Devil Wears Prada/We Came as Romans/Attack Attack!

Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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