Of Mice & Men
Alcatraz Line up: 2019
Unsurprisingly, the band was named after the famous John Steinbeck novel. Of Mice and Men is not a household name yet on the old continent but that should only be a matter of time. They’ve toured with the likes of Linkin Park and A Day to Remember, whereas in Europe they’ve featured at Groezrock and opened for Blessthefall. They’ve had their share of setbacks too. Vocalist Austin Carlile was forced to pull out of their European tour in 2016 due to ongoing health issues. He decided to step away from the band temporarily to concentrate on his recovery. He briefly returned to the fold but at the end of that year he walked out for good due to songwriting differences. Bassist and clean vocalist Aaron Pauley has since stepped up and assumed vocal duties full time. It’s a ‘Cold World’ (2016) indeed, but the album did denote the start of a new chapter for Of Mice and Men with a departure from blastbeat-ridden metalcore in favour of big arena-flavoured alternative rock. Strong support slots for Five Finger Death Punch and Bullet for My Valentine turned hordes of new fans on to the band. ‘Cold World’ placed OMAM on the radar of heavy alternative rock fans and their latest outing ‘Defy’ (2018) will convince more than just metalcore fans with its combination of downtuned riffs and more melodic, accessible parts.