Heavy Metal Reviews

Location: Underground, Cologne

e-Trado GmbH

Of Mice & Men with Issues and Beartooth

Of Mice & Men with Issues and Beartooth

(26th April 2014) OF MICE & MEN are becoming one of metalcore's hottest bands right now. Their third record "Restoring Force" entered the US Billboard Charts at a spectacular third position. Their show in Cologne is sold out some time before and the still closed venue entrance is packed with kids, most underage girls and some boys as well, hours before the doors open. This tour is some kind of an ATTACK ATTACK!-reunion tour, because OF MICE & MEN vocalist Austin Carlile as well as Caleb Shomo, singer of newcomers BEARTOOTH, used to play in that band. ISSUES therefore consist of ex-members of WOE, IS ME, another split metalcore-teeny-hype.
BEARTOOTH is the first band 'tonight' (for it is just 6 o'clock). Even though Shomo's new outfit only released a four track ep "Sick" there is a bunch of kids, who are familiar with these tunes. I am kind of surprised that the audience knows these songs, that have just been released. The kids in front of the stage seem to know every word of the lyrics and are excited to see BEARTOOTH perform. To be honest: This band does put on a good show. The group's sound is far more organic that ATTACK ATTACK! used to be. There is no trance, no autotuned vocals or anything like that at all. Just a five-piece band that delivers some edgy nu metal-fuelled metalcore-songs.
Nu metal seems to be an important part of the ISSUES-sound as well. Unfortunately the group includes a lot of cheesy Justin Timberlake-esque R'n'B-sounds, that doesn't fit that well in my opinion. There are breakdowns, LIMP BIZKIT-nu metal and then Justin Timberlake. It a bit too much for me - or maybe I am just too old for this band, because most of the crowd seems to enjoy the six-piece. The two vocalists know how to handle a crowd and how to get even more response by their teenage fans.
Things get even more wild as the intro of 'Public Service Announcement' roars through the venue's speakers. OF MICE & MEN are celebrated like pop stars. The teenage girls are screaming and holding their smartphones in the air to record the first moments of this metalcore mayhem. Shouter Austin Carlile is the center of attention and he seems to know this by now, for he is a great entertainer. I have seen this band a few years ago as they were supporting AUGUST BURNS RED in this very venue and there were only a few people interested in them. OF MICE & MEN learned a lot during these past four or five years.
Tonight's show is a good one. The band is in a good shape and performs its 55 minutes long set. Especially the new material taken from "Restoring Force" seems to be, what the kids want to hear. Tracks such as 'Bones Exposed', 'Another You' or the show closing 'You're Not Alone' will become fan favourites in the future. And I'm pretty sure that the band's next headlining tour will see them play bigger stages than on this one.

Text © by Sebastian Berning