Overall Score: 8/10 songs: 8/10 lyrics: 8/10 replay value: 9/10 Pros: A great collection of mature songs from a band coming into their own Cons: some of the production is a little too polished at times
It’s safe to say the last decade has been a trying time for Of Mice & Men. Lineup changes, genre hopping and finally finding their feet. Bands have broken up over less. From sanding down the edges on Restoring Force to the Nu Metal revivalism of Cold World, there was a period where they felt like a rudderless ship. The last few years however have seen them buckle down, regroup and find their purpose.
Tether is the band’s 8th studio album and it feels like their most confident and complete. Now don’t get me wrong, they haven’t set out to reinvent themselves to a drastic degree. What they have done though is taken all the tweaks and changes they have implemented over the last decade and crafted them into something that showcases exactly who they are now. Tether feels like a big record, expansive yet intimate. Favouring skyscraper sized hooks and emotionally resonant lyrics over barks and breakdowns.
Songs like Integration, Shiver and the title track are some of the most tender and relatable they have ever written. The chorus on Integration alone is one of the bands biggest rallying cries with “Break me down, tear me to pieces. Make me believe there’s another way” destined to become a highlight moment during live shows.
Warpaint, Eternal Pessimist & Enraptured give the older fans something to grab onto as they provide the album with its heaviest moments. While they don’t quite go as heavy as they have previously, they act as a nice bridge between the bands more metalcore leaning past and their current arena rock aspirations.
Indigo has a gorgeous pop rock sheen to it, forcibly lodging itself firmly in your head. Good luck trying to remove it once it takes residence. Zephyros sees the album go out on a beautiful shimmering note, featuring a synth back beat and a soaring vocal, it feels like it comes from a film soundtrack. It completes the albums emotional journey and is another sign of the band’s continued maturity.
Let’s be blunt for a second. No one will ever accuse Of Mice & Men of being the most original band in the world. However they have managed to carve out a respectable and consistent discography, with an ever evolving sound, and while Tether is another example of that, it feels like a natural extension from what they started on Defy, and started really perfecting on Echo. Tether is another string on an already impressively stacked bow and one that showcases what a great band Of Mice & Men have grown into
Tether is out now via Sharptone Records