Of Mice & Men Gets Existential In New Single, Visualizer

Courtesy: Sharptone Records

Of Mice & Men debuted the latest single and visualizer for its new album this week.

The band premiered its new single, ‘Echo’ and its companion visualizer Wednesday. The song is the title track from the band’s forthcoming album, which is scheduled for release Dec. 3 through Sharptone Records. Pre-orders are open now.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Echo’ is a heavy, yet contemplative composition anchored by the pairing of its slow, crunching guitars, bass, and drums. Front man Aaron Pauley’s reserved vocal delivery style adds its own unique touch to the arrangement, too. The whole is unique from so much of the work that the band has produced but still so engaging and entertaining through this approach.

The sound and approach featured in the song’s musical arrangement pairs well with the song’s lyrical arrangement, which Pauley addressed in a prepared statement.

“‘Echo’ is a song about one’s growing sensitivity to the transient nature of life, and one’s awareness to the similarities between the current human experience and human experiences of the past,” he said.

The song’s visualizer is simple. It features the the cover artwork for Echo as the song plays over the static display.

Echo joins the songs that Of Mice & Men released already this year through its EPs, Bloom and Timeless while also adding the songs for its latest EP, Ad Infinitum.

The album’s full track listing is noted below.

ECHO TRACK LISTING:
“Timeless”
“Obsolete”
“Anchor”
“Levee”
“Bloom”
“Pulling Teeth”
“Mosaic”
“Fighting Gravity”
“Echo”
“Helplessly Hoping”

More information on Of Mice & Men’s new album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.ofmiceandmenofficial

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/ofmice

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/OMandM

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Of Mice & Men Continues Its Success In The Second Of Its Three Planned New EPs

Courtesy: Sharptone Records

Veteran metalcore band Of Mice & Men returns this week with the second of its three planned new EPs for this year. 

Bloom is scheduled for release Friday through Sharptone Records.  The three-song EP picks up right where its predecessor, Timeless left off both musically and lyrically.  Speaking of that musical and lyrical content, each does its own part to make this latest offering from Of Mice & Men engaging and entertaining.  They will each receive their own attention here.  The record’s production rounds out its most important elements.  Each item noted does its own part to make this latest offering another positive offering from Of Mice & Men.  All things considered, they make Bloom a strong follow-up to Timeless that the band’s established audiences will enjoy just as much as metalcore fans in general.

Of Mice & Men has succeeded for the second time this year with its new EP, Bloom.  The second of the band’s three planned new EPs for this year, it stands out in part because of its musical arrangements.  The arrangements in question seem to show the band…well…blooming and growing.  Case in point is the musical arrangement featured in ‘Levee,’ the record’s opener.  The song exhibits the band’s familiar heaviness.  At the same time though, the stylistic approach in this case also lends itself to comparisons to work from the likes of Unearth (which ironically is more metal than metalcore), Atreyu, and Slipknot (which is also more metal than metalcore).  The full, wall of sound approach taken here shows the band as a unit willing to take that chance and grow more in another direction than just continuing on the same path yet again.  The risk paid off, too.  It ensures listeners’ engagement and entertainment throughout its nearly five minute run time.   ‘Pulling Teeth,’ which closes out the EP, is another example of the importance of the EP’s musical content.  It exhibits the band’s familiar classic metalcore elements even more here alongside a more metal leaning.  The djent style added to the mix adds so much to the mix.  The whole here makes this song just as solid a closer for the EP as ‘Levee’ is an opener.  Much the same can be said of the arrangement featured in the EP’s title track.  The more melodic moments, balanced against the heavier choruses makes for another solid musical presentation that will keep listeners engaged and entertained.  All three arrangements collectively give listeners more than enough reason to take in this record.  It is only a portion of what makes the EP successful.  The record’s lyrical themes add their own touch to the EP’s presentation.

The lyrical themes featured in Bloom are notable because of the range of themes featured in the songs.  That is even considering that the EP features only three songs.  The band takes on the familiar theme of mental health in ‘Levee.’  Front man Aaron Pauley makes that clear as he sings in the song’s chorus, “It’s cold, cloudy, windy and wet/I see the sun inside my head/It’s warmer/And I need the warmth/More than ever.”  He adds in the chorus’ refrain, “It keeps raining/Down, down, down/It touches everything we love.” Eventually Pauley screams, “It can only rain for so long/Before it washes us away/The levee’s gonna break before long/I can only swing for so long/So maybe it’s our time to drown.”  The song’s verses are difficult to decipher sans lyrics to reference, but the choruses are clear enough that it is easy to make an inference about the topic here.  This is a song that takes on the familiar topic of mental health.  It is presented in a unique fashion here that will definitely resonate with listeners. 

The EP’s title track offers its own deep topic.  According to Pauley, the song focuses on the loss of a loved one.  “It’s about understanding, through that loss, that grief is not only love in its most visceral and wildest form, but that it’s also the ultimate price we pay to experience such love,” said Pauley in a prepared statement about the song. “To know profound grief is to have known profound love. Nothing and no one lasts forever. Love isn’t a bouquet of plastic flowers; it’s watching the petals fall.”  This is a powerful statement both from him and from its delivery within the song.  Yes, it is familiar, but is always welcome since loss is something we all have to experience.  To that end, the theme here shows even more the diversity in the EP’s lyrical content and the importance thereof.

The lyrical theme featured in ‘Pulling Teeth’ is difficult to decipher sans lyrics.  However, Pauley’s statement in the song’s closing bars that “I thought I was prepared/That I was up to the task/I said I’ll be okay/But my world collapsed/Piece by piece by piece/Like slowly pulling teeth” infers the matter of dealing with a serious matter.  He notes in the song’s opening, “Time stops for no man/The end awaits us all…I tried to fight off/The belly of the beast” builds on the overall statement.  Even with this and what little can be deciphered in the chorus, the theme is still somewhat up in the air.  It certainly comes across as being somewhat existential.  The discussions that will come about from what this song may or may not be about shows in its own unique way, the importance of the EP’s lyrical content.  When this is considered along with the impact of the EP’s musical arrangements, the two sides join to make for even more appeal here.  Even with that in mind, there is still one more item to address.  It comes in the form of the EP’s production.


The production of Bloom is important to discuss because of how much is going on in each song.  From the sound of the falling rain in the opening bars of ‘Levee’ and the transition into the much heavier body, there is a lot going on here.  The subtlety in the falling rain serves well to set the initial mood of depression.  That depression transitions into a much more intense mixture of anger and frustration along with that depression throughout the rest of the song.  That combination serves well to translate the wide range of emotion in the speaker’s mind.  The fact that those two distinctly different moods are so well balanced along with the full instrumentation here is a prime example of the result of the work that went into the production.  Even as heavy as the song is, each musician’s part is well-balanced with the others, and with the vocals and added effects.  The overall impact is a song that fully immerses the listener in the song.  ‘Bloom’ and ‘Pulling Teeth’ obviously required just as much attention as ‘Levee’ in terms of the songs’ production.  ‘Pulling Teeth’ is so heavy and plodding. It is heavier perhaps than anything that Of Mice and Men has ever crafted.  Luckily, the painstaking efforts to balance the heavy, crunching guitars, bass, and drums paid off here with each part complimenting the others in its own way.  The result is a song that will prove to be a fan favorite if only for this aspect.  All things considered, the production of this record required lots of attention in terms of production, and that attention paid off throughout.  When the positive impact of the record’s production is considered with the role and importance of the musical and lyrical content, the whole makes Bloom a solid follow-up to Timeless and gives great hope for Of Mice and Men’s third and final EP of the year.

The second of three new EP’s planned for release this year from Of Mice & Men is a strong new offering from the veteran metalcore outfit.  That is due in part to the EP’s musical arrangements.  The arrangements exhibit just enough of the band’s familiar metalcore leanings while also delving into more pure metal influences than on Timeless.  That growth is such that any audience will find it appealing in all three songs featured here.  The lyrical themes featured in this record do their own part to show the EP’s strength.  That is because where the themes featured in Timeless were all clearly existential, they are more diverse in this case.  From dealing with the loss of a loved one, to taking on the equally familiar topic of mental health, to something else, the band opted this time to “bloom” and expand on its lyrical content.  The production of the songs rounds out the EP’s most important elements.  It shows that even with so much going on in each song, the best of each song is brought out through the attention to every detail in each song.  The result is that the EP proves appealing just as much for its sound as for its content.  Considering this, the EP overall proves to be just as successful as Timeless and gives hope for the next EP from Of Mice & Men.  Bloom is scheduled for release Friday through Sharptone Records.

More information on Of Mice and Men’s new EP is available now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

Websitehttps://www.ofmiceandmenofficial

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/ofmice

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/OMandM

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

‘Timeless’ Is A Strong Start To Of Mice & Men’s Busy 2021 Schedule

Courtesy: Sharptone Records

Veteran metalcore band Of Mice & Men has quite the schedule planned for 2021.  The band, which released its most recent album in 2019 in the form of EARTHANDSKY, will release three EPs and a new album all in this year.  The band will kick off its busy schedule of new records Feb. 26 with the first of those new EPs, Timeless.  The three-song record is a strong start to the band’s schedule.  That is proven in part through the record’s musical content, which will be discussed shortly.  The lyrical themes that accompany the record’s musical arrangements add their own touch to the EP’s presentation and will be discussed a little later.  The EP’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.  It will also be discussed later.  When it is considered along with the record’s musical and lyrical content, the whole makes the EP a strong start to a very busy year for Of Mice & Men.

OF Mice & Men’s forthcoming EP Timeless is a strong start for the band’s apparently very busy 2021 schedule.  The first of what will apparently be four new releases this year, the three-song record proves its success in part through its musical arrangements.  According to guitarist Alan Ashby, much of the music that the band has planned for release this year “began on the keyboard as opposed to the guitar.”  If in fact that is the case, then it does not show.  That is because the songs featured in this EP are very much guitar-centric works.  They are just as heavy as anything that the band has ever crafted.  At the same time, the arrangements also produce some variety for listeners to appreciate.  Case in point is the variance in the arrangements for the EP’s singles ‘Timeless’ and ‘Obsolete’ even through their similarities.  Each song’s arrangement is distinctly metalcore at its base.  There is no denying that.  Even with that in mind, the two arrangements do present some subtle differences.  ‘Obsolete,’ the EP’s lead single, exhibits more of a melodic metalcore approach while the EP’s title track – its second single – is a much sharper, more edgy composition.  That more melodic approach to ‘Obsolete’ lends that song’s arrangement to comparison to works from the likes of Killswitch Engage while ‘Timeless’ noted more defined sound likens it more to works from the likes of As I Lay Dying.  ‘Anchor,’ which closes out the EP, is the most unique of the record’s arrangements.  That is because it is so much unlike the arrangements  featured in ‘Obsolete’ and ‘Timeless.’  Rather, it is the EP’s most marketable and radio ready arrangement, blending elements of  Sevendust and Tool for its whole.  Its guitars, bass, and drums work with the keyboard line here to give the song a distinct melodic hard rock approach and sound that makes it a perfect fir for any active rock radio station’s current play list.  Front man Aaron Pauley’s vocals add to the impact, even showing influence from Tool front man Maynard James Keenan in the song’s more contemplative moments.  That against the more fiery moments in the song and Pauley’s delivery therein makes the song overall that much more enjoyable.  All things considered here, the musical arrangements that are featured in Timeless collectively for a solid foundation for the record.  That is because of the variance that they exhibit from one to the next.  For all that Timeless’ musical content does for its presentation, that content is just a portion of what makes the record stand out.  Its lyrical content builds on the foundation formed by its music.

The lyrical content that is featured in Timeless follows a central theme of existentialism.  Pauley himself has already pointed that out without doing so as he talked about the lyrical themes in ‘Obsolete’ and ‘Timeless.’  He noted of ‘Obsolete’ that the song’s lyrical content ruminates on our own obsolescence and our place in the world as time passes.  In  talking about the song’s theme he said, “It’s a song about questioning how future-proof one is in the grand scheme of things, and acknowledging that maybe we aren’t at all. I think we all wonder, to a certain extent, whether or not we’ll fit into the future, or how we would, or what that would look like,” he said. “Obsolescence is very prevalent in our lives. We see how quickly old phones become virtually useless, how quickly fads and trends come and go. It’s all too easy to ponder about when you’ll become a covered wagon, or a flip phone, or Myspace.”

Pauley’s comments about the lyrical theme of ‘Obsolete’ are solidified in noting the song’s lyrical content directly.  Pauley sings in the song’s lead verse, “For a thousand days I watched the vultures circle overhead/And I counted the ways the world would be blessed when I finally reached my end/And I felt the weight of the world pushing me into the soil below/And I felt the desert sun above, while I tried to drink water from a stone.”  While this verse is rather brooding, things do turn better, as is evidenced in the song’s chorus, in which the song’s subject states, “But I’m not ready to die alone/So can you wake me from my sleep/And show me now that this is just a dream?/’Cause I’m a whisper, once a scream/And I’m afraid of what’s in store for me/Becoming obsolete.”  He  contemplation continues in the song’s second verse, which states, “Another frozen frame/Another glitch inside my consciousness/So I pick my poison and just choke it down until I start to spin/And while the world just slowly turns, I fade like fog into the sea/While the mighty galleon burns around me, I slowly start to sink.”  The subject finishes the rumination here as states, “Maybe I’m not ready to be set free/Maybe these shackles are what I need/If you find the answers, come rescue me/But I can’t hold my breath” before telling others once more to “Wake me from my sleep/And show me now that this is just a dream/’Cause I’m a whisper, once a scream/And I’m afraid of what’s in store for me/Becoming obsolete.”  Considering the overly brooding nature of all of this lyrical content, it would have been easy for the band to have gone a more goth route here, but it instead opted to go in another direction.  That direction is more along the lines of showing someone who is torn in his thoughts, finding them racing in every direction.  Keeping all of that in mind, the song’s lyrical content does its own share to show what makes Timeless’ lyrical content as important as its musical arrangements.  It is just one of the ways in which the record’s lyrical content shows its importance.  That of the EP’s title track does its own share to show that importance.

The lyrical content featured in ‘Timeless’ is just as existential in its nature as that of ‘Obsolete,’ as explained by Pauley.

“‘Timeless’ is a song about becoming increasingly aware of impermanence, written through somewhat of a somber, yet romantic, lens,” said Pauley.  “At the beginning of the pandemic, I was watching a lot of black and white movies. One of my favorite movies is Casablanca. I wonder if any original copies exist. You know, although that movie is universally regarded as being timeless, the actual celluloid is so fragile. But I think we find a special kind of vibrance in life when we’re aware of our own impermanence.”

His comments here are made even clearer in the song’s lyrical content, which starts off stating, “Is this what it’s like to shed your skin/To be reborn?/Adrift in a sea of noise/Unable to remember what came before/The fragments replay/But they’re out of place/My voice/Distant/Like a stand-in/Just out of frame.”  The song’s second verse adds to the picture as it states, “Is this what it’s like to feel serene and unaware?/Like silhouettes on celluloid/We’re timeless but oh so impermanent/Becoming blurs in the negatives/But I swear to God we’re timeless.”  Simply put, what is being communicated here is a message that we realize the fragility and importance of life as we get older and look back.  So yes, it is more existentialist rumination, but it is a positive statement nonetheless.  It is a statement that is certain to resonate with listeners in its own right. It is just one more way in which the EP’s lyrical content proves so important to the record.  The lyrical content featured in the EP’s closer, ‘Anchor’ does its own share to show that   importance, too.

‘Anchor’ is the only single not yet released from Timeless, so no discussion is available from Pauley on this song, nor are readily accessible lyrics.  However, from what one can interpret without those lyrics, the song’s theme seems to center on its own existential topic.  At one point, the song’s subject notes something “pulling me down.”  At another point, there is mention of “Shifting the blame/Without another place to hide” before the song’s subject asks, “What lies ahead?/Is it another misguided, sad attempt/I’m  searching for anything/But I haven’t seen the sun in days.”  Again, not having lyrics to reference, much of the song’s lyrical content is difficult to translate.  However, from what one can translate, the lyrical content here would seem to be its own existential piece, which allegedly focuses on the subject’s attempt to find his place in the world and where he is headed.  That is just this critic’s interpretation and should not be taken as the only interpretation.  That aside, it still seems that the lyrical theme here is its own existentialist discussion, so it still follows that overarching lyrical theme, just in its own unique fashion, too.  Keeping this in mind along with the other ways in which the EP’s lyrical content follows that theme, no doubt is left as to the lyrical content featured in Timeless.  It does plenty in itself to make the EP engaging and entertaining, but still is not the last of the EP’s most important elements.  The record’s sequencing puts the final touch to its presentation.

Timeless’ sequencing is just as important to examine as that of any larger record, even being an EP.  The EP’s sequencing is  important in part because it ensures that even at only three songs deep, its musical arrangements change up just enough from one to the next, giving listeners quite the accent in that final number.  Additionally, the sequencing ensures that while all three songs follow the same central lyrical theme, the ways in which they follow that theme change from one to the next, making for even more appeal.  Last but most certainly not least of note is the way in which the sequencing balances the EP’s energy.  ‘Obsolete’ and ‘Timeless’ are each very high energy compositions, in regards to their musical arrangements.  Considering all of the energy that is exuded by those songs, the more deliberate, controlled approach to ‘Anchor’ gives listeners a welcome change of pace and stylistic approach.  Even with the change in style, the song still boasts its own strong energy, closing out the EP just as strongly as it opened.  When this is considered with the role of the EP’s sequencing in regards to its lyrical and musical content’s order, the importance of the EP’s sequencing becomes clearer.  When its importance is considered with that of the record’s overall content, all three elements join to make Timeless a presentation that is a good start to Of Mice & Men’s apparently very   busy 2021 schedule.  They additionally make the record just one more of this year’s top new EPs.  Timeless is scheduled for release Feb. 26 through SharpTone Records.

More information on Of Mice and Men’s new EP is available now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

Websitehttps://www.ofmiceandmenofficial

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/ofmice

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/OMandM

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Of Mice & Men Debuts New Single, ‘Timeless’

Courtesy: Sharptone Records

Of Mice & Men is giving audiences another preview of its new EP.

The band debuted the record’s second single Wednesday in the form of the EP’s title track, ‘Timeless.’ The song’s premiere comes less than a month after the band debuted the EP’s lead single ‘Obsolete‘ and its video. ‘Timeless’ is scheduled for release Feb. 26 through the band’s new label home, Sharptone Records.

The musical arrangement featured in Of Mice & Men’s new single is stylistically similar to that of ‘Obsolete’ what with its familiar metalcore approach. However the sound in the two songs does show some variance. Each song opens with a slightly brooding nature, but quickly launch into a similar heaviness a la Killswitch Engage. What separates the songs is that ‘Obsolete’ exhibits more of a melodic metalcore approach while ‘Timeless’ introduces more of a djent element into the mix, making it slightly more akin to works from say As I Lay Dying. The difference is subtle, but it is there.

The lyrical theme featured in ‘Timeless’ is also similar to that of ‘Obsolete’ thanks to its existential musings, which bassist/front man Aaron Pauley discussed.

“‘Timeless’ is a song about becoming increasingly aware of impermanence, written through somewhat of a somber, yet romantic, lens,” said Pauley.  “At the beginning of the pandemic, I was watching a lot of black and white movies. One of my favorite movies is Casablanca. I wonder if any original copies exist. You know, although that movie is universally regarded as being timeless, the actual celluloid is so fragile. But I think we find a special kind of vibrance in life when we’re aware of our own impermanence.”

By comparison, Pauley’s statement on the lyrical theme in ‘Obsolete’ is as follows, again showing the similarity in the songs’ lyrical themes:

“It’s a song about questioning how future-proof one is in the grand scheme of things, and acknowledging that maybe we aren’t at all. I think we all wonder, to a certain extent, whether or not we’ll fit into the future, or how we would, or what that would look like,” he said. “Obsolescence is very prevalent in our lives. We see how quickly old phones become virtually useless, how quickly fads and trends come and go. It’s all too easy to ponder about when you’ll become a covered wagon, or a flip phone, or Myspace.”

More information on Of Mice and Men’s new single, video, and EP is available now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

Websitehttps://www.ofmiceandmenofficial

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/ofmice

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/OMandM

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Of Mice And Men Debuts New Single, ‘Obsolete,’ Companion Video; Announces New EP Coming

Courtesy: Sharptone Records

Of Mice and Men is opening the new year with new music and a new label.

The band debuted its new single ‘Obsolete‘ and its companion video Tuesday. the song is featured in the band’s forthcoming EP Timeless, which is scheduled for release Feb. 26 through the band’s new label home, Sharptone Records. The band’s addition to the label makes it label mate to the likes of Miss May I, We Came As Romans, and Bleeding Through.

Front man Aaron Pauley discussed the EP’s creation during a recent interview.

“There’s an old idiom about what you’re supposed to do when life gives you lemons,” said Pauley. “Sadly, to disappoint, this wasn’t exactly that. We started writing this EP shortly before the initial lockdowns in spring of 2020, before we knew that our world was about to become a radically different place. A lot of these songs were born from a place of wondering how we’d fit into 2020 and beyond, both as adults in our 30s as well as a band that’s a decade into our existence.” 

Additionally, Pauley addressed the band’s signing to its new label.

“It’s pretty exciting to be working with a new label,” said Pauley. “We still have a great relationship with our previous label — it was just time to shake things up, and after conversations and meetings with various labels, we felt that our vision for the future of OM&M matched most closely with SharpTone’s. Working with Shawn and the team has been incredibly rewarding, and we’re all super excited with what’s to come!”

The band’s new single is a heavy, fiery composition that takes its familiar metalcore sound to a new level. The balance of Pauley’s screams and clean vocals alongside the precision in the guitar line and the drums makes for a powerful impact.

The lyrical content that accompanies the song’s musical arrangement is a contemplative statement that makes for an interesting contrast to the energy in the noted musical content.

Pauley addressed the lyrical content.

“It’s a song about questioning how future-proof one is in the grand scheme of things, and acknowledging that maybe we aren’t at all. I think we all wonder, to a certain extent, whether or not we’ll fit into the future, or how we would, or what that would look like,” he said. “Obsolescence is very prevalent in our lives. We see how quickly old phones become virtually useless, how quickly fads and trends come and go. It’s all too easy to ponder about when you’ll become a covered wagon, or a flip phone, or Myspace.”

More information on Of Mice and Men’s new single, video, and EP is available now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

Websitehttp://www.ofmiceandmenofficial

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/ofmice

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/OMandM

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.