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  -  Greeley Estates - Far from the Lies (http://www.absolutepunk.net/showthread.php?t=144039)

Steve Henderson 06/13/06 12:15 PM

Greeley Estates - Far from the Lies
 
Greeley Estates - Far From the Lies
Release Date: June 06, 2006
Record Label: Record Collection


Usually when a band works as hard as Greeley Estates does, it is to proactively compensate for an underlying shortcoming or two. While this is likely not the conscious case here, the band's work ethic certainly serves as an unspoken atonement for the recent successes of a rather unlikely group of rising Phoenix-based (rising phoenix, get it?) stars. As it stands, this group of young men crafts exactly the same type of music as a thousand bands before them, and if I were a bettin' man, I would wager a thousand bands to follow. However, something about these guys seems to have struck a chord with the general public, and thus, their recent release, Far From the Lies, warrants examination.

Musically, Greeley Estates offers up the tried-and-true/on-it's-way-out kind of screamo much akin to bands such as The Used, From Autumn to Ashes, and the like, where angst-ridden songs always squirm and struggle to be harder than they really are. Regardless of tough all these metal-wannabes try to be or think they are, the concept that eludes these badasses -in-training is that the greatest strengths of this type of music is in the refreshing contrast provided by its more melodious wanderings. As it stands, though, groups like Greeley seem to shun their softer sensibilities, endlessly struggling to counteract them with screeching, cacophonous expressions of "passion" or however they denote it. Thus, we end up with a record that mutes its stronger aspects, and works so hard to cover the purported shame with the liquid paper of frontman Ryan Zimmerman's yelp. Make no mistake about it - there are cases in music where this actually works. Love him or hate him, you have to admit Bert McCracken has some pipes, but Zimmerman is not nearly of the same caliber. His scream reeks of the excess effort required to become something unnatural, as opposed to an uncontrollable overflowing of emotion, which the best in this area adopt. A prime example of this is on "The End of All We Know" where after the pulse-pounding intro screams, the tune softens up so much that an eventual disconnect forms between the two parts of the song. Nevertheless, this is the best that Zimmerman sounds as his screaming still has a place in the track. The same cannot be said for "Life is a Garden," that peppers its wailing in so haphazardly that an otherwise promising tune is irrevocably compromised.

As cuts like "Garden" and the later "Secret" show, Greeley Estates are quite adept as balladeers, tossing in a handful of fragile tracks not for obligation, but rather as showcase. This talent, I would wager, will go on to lump Greeley in with the Finger Elevens and Stone Sours of the world - harder bands that find acclaim with their softest exhibitions. The ultimate irony for bands like this, it makes it seem almost unfortunate they don't embrace this talent more. With Lou Giordano's expert hand at the production controls, the ballads and straight rock numbers sound that much better, with softer guitar lines polished to a gleam, and heavier chords fuzzed out to chug-chug brilliance. For some bands this might be a little much, but it gives Greeley Estates a welcome tailwind away from the pack, softening their sound up enough to hint at what they do best. All in all, Far From the Lies is a decent and promising, yet ultimately flawed work. If the band would abandon the silliness of the screaming and try its hand at straight-up rock, I would certainly snatch up some stock in these guys. Until then, though, they will resonate best with the Hot Topic pre-teen runaways, and few more serious.

Recommended if you like:The Used, Letter Kills, Finger Eleven, Stone Sour, Underoath, Versus the Mirror

LilRyan732 06/13/06 12:30 PM

I read this review.

littledudeman 06/13/06 12:33 PM

i really dig this album. think its great too much csi, and secret are my faves so far but i think the whole album is pretty solid.

PeteWentzisGay 06/13/06 12:39 PM

this band sucks.

backtothesound 06/13/06 12:51 PM

nice review, you're a good writer! Should be over at emotionalpunk.com! haha

Steve Henderson 06/13/06 12:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by backtothesound
nice review, you're a good writer! Should be over at emotionalpunk.com! haha

Thanks...funny story for you. When Andrew first started hiring staff a year or two ago, I applied to write there as my first reviewing gig, and he rejected me. I think I turned out okay though :)

Steve Henderson 06/13/06 12:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LilRyan732
I read this review.

I'm guessing this is a pwn? Good one?

YourMusicSucks 06/13/06 01:23 PM

I got about half way before I started skimming =P

Very true and well written. I'm just impatient and already dislike this band =P

carramrod2005 06/13/06 01:31 PM

im indifferent about this band because they bring nothing new and nowadays if you arent going to do something original, unique, or i already like the band....i wont listen more then once or twice. good review by the way

verybarrywhyte 06/13/06 01:48 PM

It is a good listen, but every song leaves me feeling like something was missing from it.

John-Michael 06/13/06 03:07 PM

Steve's like that dude from Kung Fu. He never stays in one place for long.

Russ Hockenbury 06/13/06 04:03 PM

I was so ready to click on this review, see an 8 or 9 score, and totally dismiss you as "one of them". It's good to see that your honesty is still in tact. This album really is pretty stale. Good call.

Steve Henderson 06/13/06 04:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by John-Michael
Steve's like that dude from Kung Fu. He never stays in one place for long.

Well played. :)

Steve Henderson 06/13/06 04:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by obleekness
I was so ready to click on this review, see an 8 or 9 score, and totally dismiss you as "one of them". It's good to see that your honesty is still in tact. This album really is pretty stale. Good call.

Oh, come on now! You know me better. I am still looking forward to my first 2 or 3 here.

Drew Beringer 06/13/06 04:26 PM

Nice review Rico. I probably would have rated it lower.