Revelation Records and Calling Hours are excited to present “Gin Perry,” the latest track to be lifted from the Friday, November 10 release of Say Less, the debut LP from the east coast punk/rock band featuring veteran vocalist Popeye Vogelsang (Farside) and members of Don’t Sleep. An infectiously catchy earwig with its massive sing-along chorus, “Gin Perry” embodies an uplifting energy that makes you feel like everything is going to be okay. The song is accompanied by a visual that was filmed, directed and edited by Caleb Smith.
“We think ‘Gin Perry’ will be a lot of people’s favorite song on the album,” bassist Garrett Rothman said. “The elephant in the ‘Gin Perry’ room is that we’re pretty sure it’s the only song ever written with the word ‘kerfuffle’ in it – a fact that we hope will someday be a question on Jeopardy.”
The official story of Calling Hours more accurately begins in 2021, but for vocalist Popeye Vogelsang, the story actually unfolds a few years earlier.
“I was living alone in a one-bedroom apartment in a 1940s building in Los Angeles,” he recalls. “It was a seven-minute walk to Trader Joe’s, an eight-minute walk to my bank, and a nine-minute walk to the post office. I was doing voiceover work full-time. When I had free time, I’d walk to one of the local parks and have a sandwich under a tree. It was like living inside of the Andy Griffith show—like I was living in Mayberry, where every day was a sunny day.”
As an established fixture in Southern California—both personally and creatively as the former frontman for melodic hardcore greats Farside—there was little in his routine to suggest at that point that Popeye’s life was headed for any sort of major change. It felt like an ideal life, in fact, until it didn’t. “It was very solitary, and I guess I was OK with that—or at least I told myself that I was OK with that—until I met the woman who is now my wife,” he explains. “That absolutely changed everything.”
Among those changes, Popeye uprooted his entire life to move cross-country to the decidedly less metropolitan city of Scranton, PA, where he would eventually come to meet the rest of his new band—guitarists Thomas McGrath and Tony Bavaria, bassist Garrett Rothman, and drummer Jim Bedorf—at the tail end of 2021. That’s when The Commercials, a band of local heroes featuring McGrath and Bavaria, invited Popeye to open a New Years Eve reunion show they were planning. That invitation quickly evolved into the duo offering to become the core of a backing band for Popeye to play with that night, and then eventually, into the idea of becoming a new band altogether—bringing in Rothman and Bedorf from Don’t Sleep. “And stupid me, I raised my hand and said, ‘Well, I’m not doing anything. You wanna send me some demos and maybe we can do something?’”, Popeye laughs.
And while the Calling Hours story is still very much being written, the singer credits that displacement with the courage to make a dedicated return to his musical life so many years after Farside’s quiet ending. “At some point reality sets in and I think you tend to get a little more introspective in a different way,” he says. “I very much understood that if I moved out here, my voiceover career would very possibly take a huge nose dive, and it did. I was barely making any money. The honeymoon was over, and that was pretty much my life. So I wrote about that.”
An outcome of various collaborations, Say Less, the debut album from Calling Hours, revisits the band members’ melodic punk sensibilities while working in a decidedly contemporary direction. Produced by the legendary Brian McTernan (Turnstile, Hot Water Music, Thrice), the album is also a deep dive into these feelings of displacement and discomfort that punctuated Popeye’s move from California to Pennsylvania—a meditation on the intersection of sense of place and sense of self.
“Ultimately, I always come back to the fact that I have a much better life now than I did in 2018,” he summarizes with certainty. “It’s enhanced, it’s upgraded, it’s messier, and it’s more complicated. But it’s better because this life can actually lead to some very great things.”