The world transfigures us, little by little. Every day we are little bit different: we are okay; we are numb; we are broken. But our main goal is to be all right with who we are in the present. Not always happy, not excellent, not bad, not sad; just okay. And as we go along we pick up pieces of ourselves that we have lost, or new pieces until we are okay. This is what Of Mice And Men‘s Cold World sounds like.
“Pain”. Unescapable, relentless, immortal. We all feel it, in different forms. In frontman Austin Carlile‘s rather unique case, it is in the form of Marfan syndrome, a genetic disorder of connective tissue from which he has suffered for many years. But still, this is not the sole subject of the song. Everyone can suffer from pain and everyone does, and so this song is universal. Physical, mental, voluntary or not, there are many types of pain. And the pain leaves marks that we call scars, proof that we suffer everyday from the pressure, that will never go away. And we suffer together, so this song is an anthem for us, humanity, as a whole.What makes you feel real? Everyone has a different answer. To wake up every morning alive, music, friends, the past, being in love — these are a few of the answers that the band received from their fans when they asked the question of them. The song “Real” is less violent, at a polar opposite to “Pain” musically, but is still a faithful representation of the harsh and beautiful, beloved and hated reality we all live in. There is only one way out; and we all face it one day, but we keep going starting and stopping, waiting — but how real are we? We will all lose someone. Close or not, loss still hurts. And then we ask the world why. Often the cause of the loss is a human invention. We are the cause of our own destruction, and we lie to ourselves, giving someone else the blame. The world is not responsible. What we have done to it is. We march through our “Game Of War” believing “The Lie”. If the core of our world is fire, then why are we so cold? We blame our ancestors for making the world this way, but do we change it? Yes and no. We eliminate problems that old souls created with new ones. These are the thoughts that these two songs trigger in me.
We rely on things, people and substances to keep us real, but when we lose it, we are pushed violently back into reality and begin feeling ghostlike as we slowly fade away. How do we hold on? Why do we hold on? The fear of being forgotten is universal, but we truly are just ghosts, but we still keep holding on, and the feeling of being left alone is haunting. Once we feel alone, most of us never want to feel it again. “Like A Ghost” is heavy, emotionally and musically, pounding out that feeling of being afraid of the coldness of the world.Words are the most powerful weapons and shields at the same time. One word can bring down mental walls, and seep into our minds, echoing around. Feelings are contagious, and words cause feelings. “Contagious” is about mental pain, the inside of our minds, more or less ravaged by words. The lucky ones have impenetrable defences, but most of us are cracked and broken. But once our minds are poisoned, how do we cure them? A physical wound we can clean and heal with time, but how can we heal what’s almost unreachable inside us, but affects us so much?
Relentlessness is never giving up, “Relentless” is going for what you want and getting it. It may become selfishness. It’s one thing to say it, it’s another to do it. The human race relentlessly says alive, somehow, while we destroy each other. This song, with its hip-hop beat and empowering lyrics is an anthem to survival, or lack thereof.
My conclusion after several hours of listening to this record on repeat is that Cold World is a resumé for humanity. Pain, reality, loss, words, coldness, relentlessness, trying to be where we want to be; and being okay. Human lives are complex and simple. Each one is individual, but we reflect each other; and we all walk this road we call life together for as long as we can.