There’s much and little to say about Of Mice & Men’s recent 2018 release Defy. For starters, this is their first complete album with bassist Aaron Pauley as vocalist. After listening to the album in its entirety, I asked myself if that was the smartest move. Pauley’s vocals are solid, but nothing more, and almost fail to match the Of Mice & Men sound, and at times watering it down.
The album as a whole is diluted, Of Mice & Men lite. Nearly every track follows a similar construct and formulaic pattern – riff, radio-friendly chorus, breakdown, repeat – which leaves little to no room for dynamic or variety. “Instincts,” carries the track with it’s riffs – the only thing tying it to the original Of Mice & Men vibe, arguably one of the better tracks off Defy. Now let’s hash out the title track-this is the “little to say” about the album. “Defy” is a seemingly wrote track strictly for radio play, which is great if that was the intent- but as a song boasts mediocrity, which can be said for the album as well.
Sad to say, but Of Mice & Men may be nearing the end of their heyday.