Artist Of The Week - Anchor & Braille

It's been about three years since we've gotten an album from Anchor & Braille, the indie side project of Anberlin's Stephen Christian, but this week, on July 31st, the band's sophomore album will be released. The Quiet Life is a collection of haunting melodies and catchy percussion, certainly a maturation of sound since 2009's Felt. The Quiet Life is available now in stores and online through Tooth & Nail Records.


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The Death Of Greeley Estates

Artist: Greeley Estates
Album: The Death of Greeley Estates
Release Date: August 9, 2011
Label: Tragic Hero Records

It's only been 19 months since we've last heard from Greeley Estates, but it feels much longer than that. During this last year and a half, the band has only had one member change; Alex Torres left the band, David Ludlow moved from bass to guitars, and the band has a new bassist in Kyle Koelsch. It's hard to say what Kyle brings to the table so far, but he definitely fits with the band. The other thing Greeley Estates has done in this time is grow. The Death of Greeley Estates was a pleasant surprise to say the least.

The album opens with the track "Straitjacket," and the first thing I noticed is that the band has grown tighter, not just personally, but musically. The music doesn't sound as thrown together as it has on previous albums. The Death of Greeley Estates is another example of the band moving further away from their emo days, early in their career, and progressing even further into the metalcore sound they gravitated towards three years ago. However, you can still hear some of their emo influences coming out on this album, especially on the track "Bodies." The song's clean vocals and the style of music totally have an emo vibe to them, until it kicks into a more metalcore sound with the screaming vocals. The mix is unique, and meshes very well within the same song. Another thing I noticed on this album is that there's a little more obvious synthesizer work, like on the song "Friendly Neighborhood Visit." I cannot say enough about how much their music has grown on this album, and how much better it sounds than I originally expected.

Lead vocalist Ryan Zimmerman (one of two original members left) has gotten progressively better with each album over the last seven years. His voice sounds the same, although he's added some deeper screams this time around, from what I remember from previous releases, and the sound is just smoother, as is the recording quality.Overall, the vocals sound a lot like they did on the two previous releases, which is not a bad thing. There's also some use of choir type vocals on a couple of songs, and there are still quite a bit of clean vocals, but they all sound so organic together.

The lyrics of this album are clearly very personal, and though out for the band. Some songs have more simplistic lyrics, while others have more spiritually complex lyrics, and there are even some violent lyrics... but in a good way. One lyrical piece in particular that spoke to me was the song "Friendly Neighborhood Visit"; "You don't know how beautiful you are/but if he hits you again/I'll bleed him out from head to toe," a very literal take on stopping domestic violence and abuse. They don't sugar coat it at all, it's right there in your face, which is the way it should be. I also love the lyrics in "The Last Dance"; "Last chance to set into motion/last chance to fill in the blank page... before it's over." They're a little simpler than the previous excerpt, but have a good message. We all want to make each moment important like it could be the last, without looking back and losing the chance to make another memory.

Overall: The Death of Greeley Estates is a very tight and great sounding album from the band. The music is put together well, with a clean sound, and the vocals are some of the best that Ryan Zimmerman has done, along with his lyrics. I honestly think with good word-of-mouth, this is the album that could take Greeley Estates from early Warped Tour performer, to a headlining act. The album takes the vibe from previous material, and builds on it, making it even better and stronger. One downfall of the album however, is the use of interludes, as there are two of them, which kind of stop the album's flow. Hopefully, the album's title is a play on words, and this is not the death of Greeley Estates, but instead the launching point for the band's career that is much overdue.

Rating: 8/10

Recommended Tracks: "Straitjacket," "Friendly Neighborhood Visit," "A Thousand Burning Forests," and "Leave The Light On"

Reviewed by Michael Small


  1. Straitjacket
  2. The Last Dance
  3. Friendly Neighborhood Visit
  4. Bodies
  5. The Medic
  6. A Thousand Burning Forests
  7. Broken (Interlude)
  8. Leave The Light On
  9. Circle The Wagons
  10. The Reaction
  11. Tonight
  12. The Postman
  13. Mouth To Mouth
  14. Repaired (Interlude)
  15. December
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