Greeley Estates

No Rain, No Rainbow

Written by: PP on 08/02/2010 23:55:27

I must admit, it took a long while for me to get accustomed to the next step in the Greeley Estates evolutionary trend, because as we know, the band has changed their sound radically on every single one of their releases, culminating in the instant-classic "Go West Young Man, Let The Evil Go East" in 2008, which will be remembered as a modern post-hardcore masterpiece for years to come. For their third album, "No Rain, No Rainbow", the band has set to completely and entirely out-brutal their previous album as the goal - and there's little doubt they've succeeded.

The chilling, desperation-filled clean vocals have been ditched almost entirely in favour of Zimmerman's uncontrollably chaotic screaming style, and as an added bonus, some more guttural screaming bordering on growling. This works well on many tracks, such as on the mental "I shot the maid, what can I say, it was an accident" repetitions during the chorus of "I Shot The Maid" or during the humongous breakdown on "Jealousy Breeds Killing Sprees", but overall it's difficult not to think nostalgically about the dramatic flair in which he switched between the despaired melody of the clean vocals to the ear-piercing shrieks within moments on the band's previous material. So there's far less contrast on the vocals, that in many places risk sounding like "wraaghhing for wraagghhiing"'s sake, which isn't necessarily such a problem by itself. But when you combine it with the observation that seemingly every breakdown from the previous album had three children for this one, supplemented by constant pounding by the double-pedal kickdrums, the end result is much heavier, and unfortunately, more monotonous affair. There's less variety, less 'wow' moments which leave you standing still on your tracks in admiration over just how awesome that passage was. Songs like "Mother Nature Is A Terrorist" or "Let The Evil Go East" that were full of little details and intricacies that kept the listener interested for months in a row are simply nowhere to be found on this record. It's as if the guitarist has dumbed down his riffs to appeal to the karate mosh scenesters instead of the people who actually listen to the music when it's played.

An occasional attempt at deviating from the balls-to-the-walls crushing breakdown oriented sound can be found here and there, for example when the band re-introduces the brilliantly haunted choral sections to contrast Zimmerman's maniacal screaming, but because the album is so bass-heavy, much of that melancholic ambiance is awfully unclear, meshing into the crushing wall of guitars all to often instead of providing a desperate atmosphere. "The Offer" and "Jealousy Breeds Killing Sprees" show glimpses of the past, but here too the band lacks the melodic punch to hit the home run. The vibe I'm getting overall is VERY untrendy, so kudos to the band for doing what they feel is their vision for their direction, but it's just too bad that vision differs so significantly from what was a great platform I thought would elevate Greeley Estates into becoming one of the flagships of post-hardcore.

Download: Jealousy Breeds Killing Sprees, I Shot The Maid, The Offer
For the fans of: The Word Alive, Drop Dead Gorgeous, entire Rise Records roster
Listen: Myspace

Release date 26.01.2010
Tragic Hero Records

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