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Rating: 2 of 5 stars
Restoring Force is the third full-length studio album by American metalcore band Of Mice & Men. It was released on January 24, 2014 in Europe and Australia; January 27, 2014 in Japan and the UK and January 28, 2014 in the US through Rise Records.
…I have sat – and sat – and sat – on my opinion of this album for an unusual amount of time. For me, Of Mice & Men kinda exploded onto the scene with their 2010 debut self-titled album. It introduced us to singles “Second & Sebring” and “Those in Glass Houses,” and, try as I might to defy the gravitation I felt towards them, I eventually fell in love with their sound. In 2011, The Flood maximized on what made Of Mice & Men so great with “Still Ydg’n” and “Purified.” It was a record to reckon with.
I expected as much from Restoring Force. How can you not, with a band that gets its name from a John Steinbeck novel and a record that does the same from a phenomenon that involves balance, equilibrium and the cochlea?
That is not what I feel like I got from Restoring Force.
Somehow, I seem to be in the minority, but I simply do not like this record. For the first month and a half I had this CD, I only listened to track 6, “Another You.” It’s a great song about someone who misses the hell out of someone important who just walked out of their life, but it’s atypical of the record – it’s alternately soft and heavy, detached and relatable. And it’s smack in the middle of the album.
On a recent roadtrip back home, I resolved to listen to each and every song that went through on shuffle and only skip it if I’d listened to more than half and still decided I didn’t wanna listen. So, it was there that I grew to love more songs from Restoring Force, but it’s still not a lot – 2 “Feels Like Forever,” 3 “Bones Exposed,” 4 “Would You Still be There,” 7 “Break Free” and 9 “Identity Disorder” – a grand total of 6. I cringe at half the record! I had to come to grips with that fact just today, in fact.
This is probably the least helpful review in all of music review history, but I just could not gel with this record. Frontman Austin Carlile does state that it has more of a rock and roll sound, leveled up there with Linkin Park, Slipknot and Chevelle (cited from wiki). He’s certainly not lying. It’s not bad, either. It’s not the Of Mice & Men I’m used to, though. I don’t even wanna fault a band for evolving, but… maybe less of a giant flying leap of change next time, huh? Because, although Carlile claims this record is a “restoring” force, it really seems like it’s a “wut?” force.