Review: Greeley Estates – Calling All The Hopeless EP

Formed in 2002, Arizona’s Greeley Estates have continually changed direction amidst a revolving door of band members. While their early MySpace popularity coincided with an emo-inspired sound and 2010’s chaotic ‘No Rain, No Rainbow’ embraced metalcore, their sound has further evolved with new EP, ‘Calling All The Hopeless’.

Frontman Ryan Zimmerman’s work as a counsellor shows through in highly-positive lyrics. ‘Liminal Space’ raises awareness around the importance of suicide prevention – lines like “Stop and take a breath, think about what you’re doing” communicate serious messages, but they’re also incredibly catchy. Clean and screamed vocals work in unison to drive home this message, repeating: “It’s okay to not be okay, we’re all broken in our own way”. As layers of distorted guitars and vocals fall away, it ends appropriately with a passage from Chad Moses of non-profit TWLOHA.

‘Saints and Sinners’ begins with a thinner texture, warm-toned guitars echoing in and out as drums and voices kick in. Showcasing Zimmerman’s deep, melodic vocals, it’s the most memorable chorus on the EP. As the breakdown approaches, screams of “Come back home” join murmurs of piano and strings, ever-faster drumming building the momentum. The audio is compressed right down to reintroduce the chorus, acapella vocals bursting through dramatically: “Are you broken-hearted?”.

Highlighting the EP’s diversity, ‘Vacancy’ takes a darker turn. Buzzing, distorted guitars move in quickly with attitude, chugging riffs accompanying screams of rage: “This is the real world”. The incensed mood continues with ‘Wide Awake’, revealing the darker underbelly of experiences that inspired such hope in previous tracks. Nevertheless, final lyric “After all of these years, I’ve learned to let go” reveals personal freedom has been gained.

‘Calling All The Hopeless’ mightn’t appeal to fans of Greeley Estates’ heavier albums, but it successfully marries this sound with the best of their earlier emo/post-hardcore. After four years away they’re welcoming back old fans and new and, we hope, are back stronger than ever. As they would say: “The saints and sinners, I’m calling you, come back home”

3/5

‘Calling All The Hopeless’ EP by Greeley Estates is released on 27th June.

Greeley Estates links: Facebook|Instagram|Bandcamp

Words by Clare O’Shea (@Clare_OShea)

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