Of Mice & Men has never been my favorite band. Nonetheless, I was an avid listener of the band at one point in time. They were a great example of the type of music I listened to: post-hardcore with screamed lyrics and insane breakdowns. As much as I hate to admit it, the Of Mice & Men I grew to love as a teenager has grown up, as I have, but I just can’t learn to accept and appreciate their new sound.
When I first listened to Restoring Force, I enjoyed the first song. “Public Service Announcement” is definitely a reflection of growth from the band, but there are still old Of Mice & Men elements in the sound. I will openly admit I still love that track. As for the rest of the album…well, we’ll get there.
“Feels Like Forever”, the second track on the album, is also the song that made me question if my iTunes accidentally changed artists on me. Joke’s on me guys; it was Of Mice & Men. If you know who this band is, you know you’d never find yourself listening to them on the radio. The funny thing about “Feels Like Forever” is that I could definitely see this song on the radio within the next few months. If that is a bad thing or not, I will let you decide.
My biggest problem after hearing Restoring Force is listening to Of Mice & Men become a radio band. This may or may not be me admitting my love for the underground and hate for the mainstream, that’s up for debate. But I can’t stand the sound of this band reminding me of a typical “radio band” that no one knows the name of. When you’re in the car and you hear one song, then the next one sounds exactly like the last, and so on and so forth – that’s what it sounds like OM&M has become. “You Make Me Sick” is a perfect example of that idea, and I’m not a fan.
I have to give the band some props. They have grown up entirely, and maybe this is just a sign that the genre needs to retire and that fans’ music tastes need to mature as the bands we listen to mature.
As I grow up, I notice the post-hardcore music scene becoming very young. Now in all reality, is it actually young? Or have I grown up? Listening to this album may or may not have poked a soft spot in me not wanting to grow up and mature my music tastes.
My problem: I’m not ready for the change! I miss the old Of Mice & Men. The way Austin Carlile’s screams and screeches would give me goosebumps and the endless breakdowns song after song on an album – I miss it already. I won’t say Restoring Force is horrible, but it’s not an album you’ll see me listening to any time soon. Maybe once my musical interests mature I’ll find the courage to listen to this album again. Change is good, right?