Album Reviews

Album Review: Of Mice & Men – Defy


Of Mice & Men – Defy

Release Date: 19th January 2018

Record Label: Rise

Of Mice and Men started off in 2009 in Orange County, California. The band was founded by Austin Carlile and Jaxin Hall after Austin left Attack Attack! Austin parted ways from the band in late 2016 due to medical issues and the band has been laying low since. The band released the song Unbreakable in the early 2017 with main vocals from Aaron Pauley who had previously accompanied Austin’s vocals. The band now consists of Aaron Pauley on vocals and bass, Valentino Arteaga on drums, Phil Manansala on lead guitar and Alan Ashby on rhythm guitar.

The album starts off with Defy which was surprisingly catchy and is a great start to an ever increasingly amazing album. The songs flow into each other smoothly making the album easy to listen and get into. Aaron’s vocal strength and range is portrayed so much more compared to past tracks from the band and he appears to be able to show off his full potential which I didn’t expect to happen. One of the softer songs on the album is Vertigo which still has strong guitar, bass and drums but has softer vocals to it making it easier to sing along to but I found myself swaying more to this rather than headbanging like I was to Sunflower which was a mildly heavier song. Money was possibly my least favourite on the whole album, covering Money by Pink Floyd, the song seemed to lack passion and didn’t seem to suit the band, however every person is different but personally I didn’t like it. However, this is made up by being followed by How Will You Live which I managed to injure myself listening to in my own office which just shows how much you can get into this song. Aaron’s screams in this song shocked and blew me away as he had through the whole album. Now, we can’t have reached the end of this album without at least one song we could cry ourselves to sleep to.

The album comes to a close with If We Were Ghosts, to my surprise Valentino managed to add to the emotion of the song on drums without making it too intense or take away the slow and soft effect without having to make it acoustic. Throughout the album Phil and Alan have pulled through song after song with the most intense riffs and breakdowns making this my favourite Of Mice and Men album to date. The variety of songs on this album is insane with different vocal ranges, tempos, backing whilst still making it obvious who we are listening to.

I can’t recommend this album enough, my top songs are definitely How Will You Live, Sunflower and If We Were Ghosts. The band will be doing a UK & Ireland later this year so try and catch them if you can.

UK & Ireland Tour Dates

22nd April – O2 ABC, Glasgow

23rd April – O2 Ritz, Manchester

26th April – Norwich Nick Rayns LCR UEA, Norwich

27th April – KOKO, London

29th April – The Academy, Dublin

30th – Mandela Hall, Belfast

Rating – 9/10

Recommended Track – How Will You Live

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