‘Mushroom Cloud’ is one of Of Mice & Men’s heaviest tunes, but is it any good?
With plenty of riffage, double kicks, breakdowns, some pinches, and bassist Aaron Pauley forgoing his singing to scream throughout, ‘Mushroom Cloud‘ is easily the heaviest song Of Mice & Men have released in years. But is it any good? Well, that all depends on your outlook.
If your sole prerequisite for bands like OM&M these days is that they remain a generic metal band and don’t try out any other sounds or genres, you may very well find this new song to be The Shit. In which case, more power to ya. Instrumentally, it’s all fine and dandy but nothing that impressive either; just going bigger and heavier than the commercially-viable nu-metal/alt-metal vibes of 2018’s ‘Defy‘ LP. In some ways, this new track even sounds like a long lost B-side from 2011’s ‘The Flood‘.
However, if you’re looking for something different from the current crop of other metal bands who also do this sound infinitely better, and are looking for something that isn’t the typical “burn this city down” OM&M track, you’d best look elsewhere. For this is a pretty harmless and ineffective metalcore track. One that’s only their to fill-up short attention spans; one whose only merit is being “heavy”. On top of that, it’s at least a minute too long, and the only interesting thing that sticks out is the accompanying film clip’s eerie visuals, which was directed by Mark Lediard.
The song’s lyrics could not be any cornier. Laughable, unironic lines like “3, 2, 1, Boom!“, “This is not a test, I repeat this is not a test“, and “I’ve got a mind like a mushroom cloud” are screamed throughout and all feel quite juvenile. While the metaphor of a nuclear fallout acting as an individual’s psychosis and a doomsday-countdown scenario referring to dwindling control of their mental health is an interesting concept, it doesn’t go very far in OM&M’s hands. However, the lyricism does fit with the post-apocalyptic themes of their recent branding: notice the artwork for this single, as well as the imagery of ‘How To Survive‘. So at least it’s all consistent.
Like it or not, definitely anticipate a new album from Of Mice & Men in 2019.