Four years is the longest wait that we’ve faced between releases from Arizona’s Greeley Estates, a band who’ve been criminally underrated and under appreciated over their 15 year career, seeing many of their more fresh-faced peers see more commercial success despite their material, in almost every aspect, paling in comparison. Despite all the hardships, Greeley Estates continue on, and as always, they don’t pull any punches.
‘Calling All The Hopeless’ is a poignant title for the 6-track offering; its lyrical themes encompassing overcoming difficult times in life, persevering through overwhelming challenges, and even tackling the darkest depths of mental tolls. Frontman and remaining founding member Ryan Zimmerman‘s involvement in work as a counsellor since 2013’s ‘Devil Son’ is an abundantly clear influence in taking these subjects head on, and ensuring that no matter what, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.
The EP’s opener and title-track from the off brings the over arching theme of the record into the forefront, with Zimmerman screaming “I’m calling all the hopeless / The ones who’ve given up / Don’t let your life pass you by”, before some glitchy and almost djent-like riff work drives us through the rest of the track, and a similar kind of thing can be said for later track, ‘Vacancy’.
The tones have some worthy weight in them during ‘Liminal Space’ too, almost as much weight as its talking point of suicide, “It’s okay to not be okay / We’re all broken in our own way / Tomorrow’s another day” yells Zimmerman with conviction, before a closing spoken word passage from Chad Moses of the non-profit organisation, To Write Love On Her Arms.
Although a brief affair, especially after such a long wait since the two-part EPs of 2012’s ‘The Narrow Road’ and the aforementioned ‘Devil Son’, Greeley Estates have returned proving that they’re undoubtedly a veteran of the game, deserving of more than just some of the success of their often derivative copycat peers. With families and full-time jobs outside of music now a strong focus for a handful of the members, it may be a while again before we hear more tunes, if ever. Here’s hoping that it’s the former, but if it’s the latter, ‘Calling All The Hopeless’ is more than a formidable swan song.
Written by Zach Redrup (@zachredrup)