Of Mice & Men

Of Mice & Men – Defy

Many of Of Mice & Men‘s fans were surprised when clean vocalist Aaron Pauley confirmed he would be taking on lead vocal duties alongside the release of first single Unbreakable, but Defy takes on a blend of the sounds of Of Mice & Men‘s older material and Pauley’s former band Jamie’s Elsewhere during his vocal tenure.

Defy is kicked off with the title track which again shocked a large portion of the fanbase when it was released. A return to heavy riffs and crushing vocals is evident as soon as the song kicks in with screams and chugging guitars dominating all of the space on the recording. Come the chorus, these somewhat make way for a wide, sweeping gang vocal that demonstrates the incorporation of Restoring Force ideas for what seems like the first time since it was released. The heaviest breakdown since at least 2011’s The Flood hits around halfway through the track, bookended by the choruses that ground the track safely in the band’s style. A very promising start.

Following up the opener comes what is arguably the best song on the album – titled Instincts. The sheer power of the guitar work is sure to be enough to make many sit in awe of the tone crafted throughout, and backed up by the cymbal-filled drum wrap-around created by Tino and the producers that cuts through the chunky guitar-bass hybrid. The wah-riddled solo from Phil sounds dystopian in sections and is just plain technical in others – this is a lead guitarist who has his confidence and ability on display now more than ever before. It’s not all heavy and crazy though – lighter songs including pre-release single Back To Me are sure to keep fans of the newer eras of the band with the catchy choruses and more middle-of-the-road rock sound they have crafted.

Vocally throughout, Aaron sounds very much in practice as if he never slowed up his screaming at all. Forever YDG’n is written somewhat as a tribute to the first two albums of the band, and the vocal work throughout the tune does it justice entirely. Slightly contrasting the nostalgia is Sunflower which brings a new dual-scream dynamic with Pauley providing harsh growls alongside higher screams to create a wonderful blend that matches the feeling of the instrumentals perfectly.

The elephant in the room must be addressed though: yes, the track titled Money really is a cover of that Pink Floyd song. Was it expected? Not at all. Does it work? Honestly, it does in its own strange way. Taken as a single, the cover seems to be a rather strange rendition and outside the comfort zone of Of Mice & Men as a band, but when woven into the fabric of the album as a whole the placement of the song and the themes within the lyrics work to slot in seamlessly.

Overall, Defy is a fantastic return to form for a band that seemed to lose their way with their last release. Losing the spearhead figure of your band often crushes all morale and demands dramatic reinvention. As Robert Burns said in his poem from which the band’s name originated, “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft a-gley” – Of Mice & Men had the perfect solution to Defy all expectations.

Austin Carlile Of Mice & Men

Austin Carlile leaves Of Mice & Men

Of Mice & Men frontman Austin Carlile has left the band following advice from medical professionals. The announcement comes after he became too sick to continue with the European tour supporting their latest album Cold World.

Carlile has suffered his whole life with Marfan’s Syndrome – a condition which affects connective tissue throughout the body.

See the statement below:

Carlile has subsequently indicated that this isn’t him out of the game though, with a tweet seeming to confirm he will be involved with another project in 2017:

Albums 2016

Musicology: Our Team’s Top Albums of 2016

It’s come to that time of year again when we’re thinking about our top dogs of 2016, so here are the Musicology team’s top albums of the year (yes, there are quite a few repeats which show how good some of them are!).

Joshua Palmer – Writer

1) RenouncedTheories Of Despair
2) ExpireWith Regret
3) CaseyLove Is Not Enough
4) Angel Du$tRock The Fuck On Forever
5) Like PacificDistant Like You Asked
6) Silent PlanetEverything Was Sound
7) Cruel HandYour World Won’t Listen
8) Church TongueHeart Failure
9) DeparturesDeath Touches Us, From The Moment We Begin To Live
10) Hotel BooksRun Wild, Stay Alive


Sam Preece – Writer

1) Waterparks – Double Dare
2) Simple PlanTaking One For The Team 
3) Sia – This Is Acting
4) Good Charlotte – Youth Authority
5) A Day To Remember – Bad Vibrations
6) Cane Hill – Smile


Tom Martin – Writer/Editor

1) Boston Manor – Be Nothing.
2) Architects – All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us
3) Trophy EyesChemical Miracle
4) ColumbusSpring Forever
5) Trash BoatNothing I Write You Can Change What You’ve Been Through
6) BasementPromise Everything
7) Knocked LooseLaugh Tracks
8) letlive.If I’m The Devil…
9) Luke RainsfordI’m Nothing Like My Dad Turned Out To Be
10) Touche AmoreStage Four


Fiona Stephens – Writer

1) Blackberry SmokeLike An Arrow
2) The Pretty RecklessWho You Selling For
3) Green DayRevolution Radio
4) Lucid FlyBuilding Castles In The Air
5) Circle Of DustMachines Of Our Disgrace


Nathan Heffernan – Photographer

1) Knocked LooseLaugh Tracks
2) Luke RainsfordI’m Nothing Like My Dad Turned Out To Be
3) NOFXFirst Ditch Effort
4) Trash BoatNothing I Write You Can Change What You’ve Been Through
5) Boston ManorBe Nothing.
6) CaseyLove Is Not Enough
7) BasementPromise Everything
8) blink-182California
9) Tiny Moving PartsCelebrate
10) GiantsBreak The Cycle


James Leese – Writer

1) TotorroCome To Mexico
2) The 1975I like it when you sleep for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it
3) The HotelierGoodness
4) Tiny Moving PartsCelebrate
5) Childish GambinoAwaken My Love
6) Slaughter Beach, DogWelcome
7) Modern BaseballHoly Ghost
8) BadBadNotGood IV
9) Old GraySlow Burn
10) Luke RainsfordI’m Nothing Like My Dad Turned Out To Be


Jade Falconer – Photographer/Site Supervisor

1) Bring Me The HorizonLive At Royal Albert Hall
2) Hands Like HousesDissonants
3) Asking Alexandria – The Black
4) Panic! At The Disco – Death of a Bachelor
5) The Amity Affliction – This Could Be Heartbreak
6) Issues – Headspace


Luke Davies – Web Developer

1) Issues – Headspace
2) Memphis May Fire – This Light I Hold


Bradley Cassidy – Writer

1) Gojira – Magma
2) The Dillinger Escape PlanDissociation
3) BrujeriaPocho Azitan
4) Nails – You Will Never Be One Of Us
5) KoRn – The Serenity Of Suffering
6) Metallica Hardwired … To Self Destruct
7) Abbath Abbath
8) Ihsahn Arktia
9) Rob ZombieThe Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser
10)  KvelertakNatterfed


Eddie Sims – Writer

1) Touche Amore – Stage Four
2) Napoleon – Newborn Mind
3) Trade Wind – You Make Everything Disappear
4) Hatebreed – The Concrete Confessional
5) Broken Teeth – At Peace Amongst Chaos
6) Knocked Loose – Laugh Tracks
7) Heck – Instructions
8) Killswitch Engage – Incarnation
9) Desolated – The End
10) Forty Winters Rotting Empire


James Maddern – Writer

1) With ConfidenceBetter Weather
 2) WaterparksDouble Dare
3) Hands Like HousesDissonants
4) Sum 4113 Voices
5) A Loss For Words – Crises
6) I PrevailLifelines
7) Moose BloodBlush
8) Milk TeethVile Child
9) This Wild Life – Low Tides
10) Luke RainsfordI’m Nothing Like My Dad Turned Out To Be


 Daniel Curzon – Editor

1) Knocked LooseLaugh Tracks
2) Broken TeethAt Peace Amongst Chaos
3) ExpireWith Regret
4) Guilt TripWeight of Abjection
5) Trophy EyesChemical Miracle
6) DesolatedThe End
7) SkeptaKonnichiwa
8) Cold Hard TruthTruthgetta
9) Craig DavidFollowing My Intuition
10) Trash BoatNothing I Write You Can Change What You’ve Been Through

norwegian tons of rock

Blink-182 announced for first Norwegian show

Pop punk legends Blink-182 are set to play their first ever Norwegian show in June next year.

The set will be a part of the Tons Of Rock festival from 22nd-24th June that takes place annually at Fredriksten Fortress, Halden around 100km away from the capital Oslo. Blink will headline Thursday 22nd.

The lineup also features an exclusive Cabotus Rex performance from Sabaton as well as a spot from Airbourne amongst others. Past lineups have included Twisted SisterBlack SabbathAlice CooperSlayerW.A.S.P and Anthrax so this looks set to be another huge year.

See the latest lineup below, get more information on their website and get tickets here.

hellfest

Hellfest announce first lineup, 140+ bands to come

France’s Hellfest have announced the first wave of bands for the upcoming event. The announcement includes headliner Aerosmith, with Linkin Park and System of a Down among others.

Perhaps the most surprising is the inclusion of Guns N Roses on the lineup NOT in a headline slot, but there must be a good reason for it (we’re hoping it’s a Europe tour…).

See the full poster below and see ticket info here:

hellfest 2017 announcement

of mice & men eu tour

Of Mice & Men cancel EU tour

Following Austin Carlile’s trip to hospital after the Portsmouth date of their UK tour and a set cut short in Cardiff, Of Mice & Men have made the decision to cancel the rest of the tour.

The support bands Crown The Empire and Hands Like Houses will still be playing the Paris show tonight.

Our thoughts are with Austin and the band, and we wish him to be in good health soon!

See the full statement below:

Luckily though, Crown The Empire and Hands Like Houses may do something for the rest of the tour…

LIVE: Of Mice & Men – Kentish Town Forum 7/10/16

First support for Of Mice & Men‘s Cold World tour were Australian outfit Hands Like Houses who, along with their latest album Dissonants, have been making waves lately. The band hit the stage with confidence and energy as they opened with the album’s first track I Am and within seconds the crowd were bouncing along. Many did not know the band, but there were murmurs of pleasant surprise and downright fascination throughout the entire track. Then came more tracks from the album including the anthem New Romantics which really blew everyone in hearing distance away, and sadly the band were gone as soon as they had come but not before a crushing rendition of Introduced Species. At this rate, it could be sooner than you think that Hands Like Houses could be headlining venues of Forum’s size because they have the quality live, well-written tracks and just need the fanbase to back it up. Do NOT sleep on this band, they’re going places.

[9/10]

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As the second band Crown The Empire were preparing to come on, they knew they had a lot to live up to. Without co-frontman and rhythm guitarist David Escamilla this tour due to “personal reasons”, the stage looked rather empty for the performance. Andy Leo made up for the loss of vocals however, as he powered through tracks from all three albums and taking the pick of the vocals with a strong stage presence. The inconsistency and compartmentalised structures of the tracks with breakdowns one second and slower pop choruses the next restricted crowd interaction as many had no idea what to be doing in time with the music, which made some of the tracks mid-set fall slightly flat. The closing track Machines and even those who had scarcely heard of the band were familiar with it, and it got the best reception of the set by a long, long way with a mass singalong. Not a bad set by any means, but the band were clearly not fully on form (though it’s clear why!)

[7/10]

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Headliners Of Mice & Men came out to a crowd who had been suitably warmed up, and greeted them with vicious new track Pain which caused mass hysteria within seconds. This lessened off through The LieFeels Like Forever and Would You Still Be There and the crowd were almost completely inactive during Real. It was apparent the new tracks weren’t going to pick up much of a reaction through the rest of the night.

This sadly was true through the mid-set tracks, as +Away and Relentless received some of the smallest reactions of any Of Mice & Men tracks on any UK tour so far. Luckily (or strategically, who knows), the band had tagged on the three other The Flood bonus tracks from the reissue to make the complete four: The CalmThe StormThe Flood added their setlist staple The Depths. This decision got them some of the fans encouraged by the US support slot on the Slipknot tour earlier in the summer, and even some of the old-school fans (those who hadn’t left) started getting back into it.

They came back on for a charged rendition of You’re Not Alone and finished up with a fantastic version of fan favourite Second & Sebring from the 2010 self-titled debut record. These – in addition to the four Flood tracks and Pain to open – saved an otherwise lacklustre set that seemed to be lacking a lot of energy and conviction, with a stop-start feel due to a lot of pausing between tracks. Perhaps without having Hands Like Houses and Crown The Empire as supports they may have seemed a little more on form…

[6/10]

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cold world

Of Mice & Men – Cold World

Cold World, the fourth album from California’s Of Mice & Men opens atmospherically with Game of War which shows off the softer side of vocalist Austin Carlisle’s talents. The track could have been half the length and still have had the same effect. The record soon finds OM&M‘s familiar territory with The Lie – a mid-tempo track that builds to a classic breakdown of their previous album styles. Single Real, again, is nothing new for the band. The uninspired lyrics in the chorus ‘It’s taking over me, I don’t know what to believe. Forgetting everything that makes me, makes me real let down the song which had potential but now looks to sit near the bottom of a list of the band’s singles.

The best track on the album Like A Ghost follows. Surely a future single, Like A Ghost features a heavy riff which propels the song through it’s strong, catchy chorus into a breakdown which is sure to please a Download Festival crowd next summer, should they return, but most definitely the crowds on their upcoming UK tour in October.

A brief interlude track titled  just  (meaning negative) precedes the first single Pain, one of the heaviest tracks the band have released to date. The next few tracks HungerRelentless and Down The Road seem to take inspiration from nu-metal heavyweights such as Linkin Park and Korn.

Down the Road provides the listener with one of the best vocal performances on the album, a welcome break from the heavier tracks previously, and also has some of the best lyrics on the album. ‘I feel your spirit pull me, like the moon dancing with the sea. Goodbye for now my friend, I’ll see you in the end’ is accompanied by the catchy backing refrain ‘the road is long, the road is long…’

Another orchestral interlude + follows, and the interludes are beginning to feel unnecessary. Although a first for the band, the interludes bring nothing ground-breaking to the genre. Contemporaries such as Asking Alexandria and Bring Me The Horizon do these better, and it is hard not to draw comparisons.

A huge guitar riff in the closing section of Away is the saving grace for a song that sounds too similar to some of the earlier tracks on Cold World and that could have easily been cut from the album had it not been placed there.

Closing track Transfigured features a drum section from Valentino Arteaga that shows off a very real threat to take this band to the next level, accompanied by a massive chorus. This is a track on the verge of arena-slaying with world class drum skills but it’s over almost as soon as it starts. The album ends not with a bang, but with a whimper.

Tracks such as Like A Ghost show that they can write a massive metalcore song when they put their minds to it. But can they write a massive metalcore album? On album number four, the band are running out of original ideas and instead of taking inspiration from within their own genre, they need to begin to push boundaries in a scene that is beginning to go stale.

Korn announce new album, release single

Legendary nu-metal band Korn are coming back, and they’re back with a bang.

After their appearance at Donnington for Download Festival the band have kept fairly quiet, so it may have come as a shock to many this morning as album details and the first single were released.

The album will be titled The Serenity Of Suffering and will be released on 21st October via Roadrunner. See the artwork below:

KORN lores aw (1)

 

The track released with the details is titled Rotting In Vain, which is accompanied by a video starring Sons Of Anarchy actor Tommy Flanagan. Frontman Jonathan Davies said of the song “Rotting In Vain was written about being in that black place, being in situations that I don’t like in life, be it relationships or feeling when you’re stuck and you’re just being abused or you don’t like where you’re at, and you just sit there and rot.  It takes you years and years to figure out how to claw your way out. That’s where Rotting In Vain came from. That’s the vibe that inspired the song.”

Watch the video below: