Of Mice & Men’s latest offering Timeless marks the start of their new relationship with Sharptone Records and gives us a concise three track taste of what we can expect from this new era.
The reflective intro for title track ‘Timeless’ sets up the introspective nature of this EP. This is swiftly displaced by the typically fast paced and violent delivery that we’ve come to expect from Aaron Pauley’s time as the frontman of Of Mice & Men, as well as the chuggy, droning riffs that have characterised much of the band’s decade in action. Although this does feel a little dated at this point, this band do it better than anyone. Any fan of Of Mice & Men who just can’t get enough won’t be disappointed.
Obsolete provides much of the same, with a slow groove for the intro and Pauley’s ability to write stellar choruses elevating the tracks with catchy melodies and his unmistakable voice. For the most part, this release feels much more like a vessel for the thoughts and feelings conveyed in the lyrics rather than new musical ideas. These songs were born of the threat of impermanence that any band a decade into their career is sure to feel. The songs come from a real place and there is no replacement for pure and honest songwriting, or the power that comes with that.
The final track on this brief EP, Anchor, is by far the highlight. It provides a much needed break from the OM&M formula after two tracks of relentless energy, with a dreamy, almost mumbled melancholic vocal accompanied by samples and synths. When the song eventually erupts into a scathing chorus led by a palpable vocal delivery, the impact feels well earned. Circling back with the line ‘It’s dragging me down! Down! Down! Down!’ the feelings of helplessness evolve into a sense of desperation and punctuate the delivery of the masterfully crafted riff. The closing track winds down gently with a slowing tempo and sonar-like synth line bringing this collection of tracks to a satisfying end.
Timeless feels like a release the band needed as much as they wanted. At its core, the EP is a collection of songs that articulate the mindset of a band on their seventh release and questioning the permanence of their art.
Timeless is out on 26th February via Sharptone Records.