With the exit of vocalist Austin Carlile due to health issues, many fans including myself were left wondering what would become of the band Of Mice and Men.  Who would fill in for Austin and be able to match the powerful vocal presence he had within the band?  On April 23rd we received that answer as the band put out the new single, Unbreakable which featured bassist Aaron Pauley taking over full vocals for the band.

While many seem to be upset about Aaron taking on not only the clean vocals, but now screaming for the band, I was happy to see Of Mice and Men not opting to bring another vocalist in and keep the in-house talent they already had.  Unlike some of the fan base, I was very familiar with Aaron’s prior vocal work in Jaime’s Elsewhere and was excited to hear his screams once again.  Unbreakable begins with a heavy guitar riff that is easily recognizable as an Of Mice and Men riff and we are followed by the all to familiar clean vocals of Aaron.  They don’t waste much time showing you how powerful Aaron’s scream is as we are greeted by it in the second verse of the song.  The song as a whole is a fast paced and melodic song that if fans can get past not having Austin in the band anymore, will fall in love with it and be singing it at each live show that it is played.  In my opinion, lyrically the song is making a statement that Aaron is here to stay as the full-time vocalist and is not just a temporary fill in.  With lyrics like, “Through the firestorm, I will remain/And you will know where you stand” the band is making a statement that even though they will catch hate from fans in the absence of Austin, the band is here to stay.

Overall, Unbreakable is probably one of my favorite songs Of Mice and Men has put out.  I loved Austin as their vocalist, but I would be lying if I said I am not excited to see where the band goes as Aaron takes the reigns at the front of the stage.  Austin will forever remain a legend in this music scene and I hope that he supports the band as they move on without him.  Not everyone may like this song, but the true fans of Of Mice and Men will be the ones that remain and they will  be joined by new fans as this song spreads.

-Eric Neyhart

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