Release Date: 28 May 2021
Label: SharpTone Records
FFO: Beartooth, A Day To Remember, Northlane
At this point in their career, metalcore stalwarts Of Mice & Men need little to no introduction. They’ve carved out their niche in the scene over the course of their career and now, hot on the heels of their last EP Timeless, they return with their second EP this year, Bloom. This approach to shorter, more frequent releases is evidently paying off as its three tracks showcase the band at their aggressive and melodic peaks.
‘Levee’ opens the EP and has a churning, serpentine riff to accompany Aaron Pauley’s roar while its bridge batters all in sight. It’s carried by a seriously catchy groove throughout bar the requisite breakdown that’s backed by electronic elements to add ambience. Before long though, we’re cast back into its turbulent waters that sweep up all in their path.
Second track ‘Bloom’ is initially more melodic; it starts with a plaintive rendition of the chorus atop yearning strings though this doesn’t last long. A chugging riff soon makes itself known for the verse; it’s exactly the kind of crunchy tone they’ve made their name with and at this point there’s not much reason to diverge from that given how well it’s served them.
Closer ‘Pulling Teeth’ is the shortest track on here by almost a minute but loses nothing; it’s frenetic and charges full steam ahead before blossoming into its chorus. It’s got the expected breakdown, of course, but this comes right at the end of the song and closes the EP on a vicious note.
Given that they’d already released their Timeless EP this year it wouldn’t have been unexpected for Of Mice & Men to take a bit more time off to polish any followup, but rest on their laurels they certainly did not. Bloom sees the band on top form and continues the quality of its predecessor. It’s tightly focused, stripping OM&M down to the basics that they do so well and makes a solid addition to this year’s already impressive output.