If you have been keeping up with Metal Thoughts over the past few years, you will know that Of Mice & Men is one of my favorite bands. I’ve liked the band for years, but the past few albums have taken them to the next level for me. At each turn, the band has gotten heavier and more polished, all at the same time. The heavy vocals have been a highlight, but it’s the bass that sticks out for me (shout out to Aaron Pauley, who serves as both the lead vocalist and bassist in the band- not an easy task to do both, especially this well). When I found out that they were releasing a new EP, Timeless, via SharpTone Records, I was obviously intrigued. When we were given the opportunity to hear it in advance, I couldn’t say no! Timeless is 12 minutes of intense, heavy bliss and I can’t thank the band enough for allowing us the opportunity for another preview!
“Timeless” starts off with an engaging riff on guitar before blowing wide open into a wall of sound. The heavy vocals from Pauley shine here and seem to get better every outing. The chorus will pull you in and brings out the lighter side of things. Of Mice & Men are one of the best at the aggressively heavy tracks with catchy choruses, so no shock there. This one almost feels like it slows to half time for the chorus, since the pace of the track is so intense. The breakdown is flawless- spoken words that lead to an explosion that is just an unrelenting, heavy riff that fades to nothing.
“Obsolete” is my favorite track on the EP, but all three were definitely in the conversation. This song is so heavy and really shows the evolution of the band. The opening scream gives me chill every time. The riff that plays in the background of the verse absolutely rips. The dual guitars in the second verse makes it even better. My favorite part is the lead up to the second chorus with the vocals, bass and drums hitting at the same time. The chorus is absolutely huge and keeps this in radio play territory, even with the intensity it holds throughout. The bridge showcases an absolutely amazing bass run that sealed this track as the top one for me.
“Timeless” and “Obsolete” have been floating around for awhile, but “Anchor” is really the surprise track here. It’s a little different, as the beginning is more melodic and not as intense. The bass line in the background of the verse is incredible. The tone that is used here adds so much to the track. The inevitable explosion into a larger-than-life chorus is attention-grabbing, for sure. This song maintains the heavy elements the band has become known for, but this track keeps enough of the crossover appeal that it has “hit” written all over it. The outro reminds me of a music box, as the music fades to a soft keyboard melody.
This “EP” is billed as an enhanced single for “Timeless,” but that doesn’t do it justice. These songs rip and they are three solid standalone tracks. This is a warm welcome to SharpTone and the first of three upcoming EPs. Timeless is just a taste of what’s to come from Of Mice & Men and they just get better (and heavier) as they go. Make sure you check out Timeless on Friday, February 26, 2021!