CHEVELLE

"La Gargola" (Epic; 2014)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

Chevelle is back and they've been given tons of accolades for "La Gargola" and it's because of their heavy guitar work and distant sounding vocals. Although they have the 'alternative metal' moniker inked on their brand of music I'd say over the years it's faded and now they are just hard rock -- you know, the good stuff that causes you to give them a second listen and then you'll start researching their back catalogue all the while you're informing your friends who might have missed out.

Every cut on "La Gargola" (which translates to "The Gargoyle") is a gem in itself. Heavy guitars, distant vocals and the bass that keeps the whole machine moving along. You can put this disc on and just absorb the great sound this trio puts out. I listened to it about five times and enjoyed each spin. I wouldn't say that there are very many radio hits on this disc but it's still got a great sound from track to track. The intros are very well done and the outro on "Twinge" (the last track) has a great guitar riff to end the disc.

Chevelle: Pete Loeffler - vocals, guitar; Sam Loeffler - drums; Dean Bernardini - bass, drums on "Ouija Board."

For more information check out http://getmorechevelle.com or catch them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/chevelle.

"Hats Off to the Bull" (Epic; 2011)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

This is the sixth disc from Chevelle and I think they just keep getting better. One quote I read about this album that I fully agree with was, "This band can do no wrong." This outing isn't as heavy sounding as "Vena Sera" was but it's still got their tight sound with tons of reverberating guitar riffs. The vocals still echo from ear to ear and you would probably associate their moody approach with the band Tool.

There is a little bit more harmony from the guitar on this disc than previously heard before. It often mirrors the harmonious vocals of Pete Loeffler which gives Chevelle a softer sound but the edges are still there so it's mixed evenly. Pete can sing clean and then force a growl to drive his point home when desired. Sam Loeffler is Pete's brother and drummer, Sam slowly and methodically pounds his Pearl drum kit into the ground. Their brother-in-law, Dean Bernardini, thumps the bass along with Pete's gitfiddle. This is one great power trio!

It's been three years since their last recording and it's good to see Chevelle back in the driver's seat with 11 new songs and 43 minutes of solid music.

MP3 these: "Face to the Floor," "Same Old Trip," "Piñata," "Hats Off to the Bull," "Arise," and "Clones."

Chevelle: Pete Loeffler: vocals, guitars; Sam Loeffler: drums; Dean Bernardini: bass, and live backing vocals.

For more information, check out http://www.chevelleinc.com.

"Vena Sera" (Epic; 2007)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

Spinning Chevelle's “Vena Sera” might cause you to think that Tool produced it. I can hear an exact build of emotion and blast of guitar that Tool uses in their song structure. Being what it is, I still like Chevelle. They put the pedal to the floor and run down anyone, including sidewalk amblers.
 
The vocals are fierce when the guitar is muscling through a song. There are some solo bridges that have a raw sound attached to them. When the guitar sounds like it's picking flowers (which isn’t often), Peter croons and vocalizes to meet the sound. The drums roll along and keep the harder edged songs tight. The bass thumps and keeps a constant running rhythm.
 
“Vena Sera,” according to the band, means “Vein Liquid” as in the blood of the band and the work they put into the album. The CD seems to get better toward the end, an unexpected crescendo because most artists put their least favorites last. The song “I Get It” helps to lighten the mood; it’s the second single that was released in June of 2007.
 
The best this time around are “Antisaint,” “Saferwaters,” “Straight Jacket Fashion,” “The Fad,” and “Humanoid.”
 
Chevelle: Peter – vocals, guitar; Sam – drums; Dean – bass.
 
For more information, check out http://www.chevelleinc.com

"This Type of Thinking (Could Do Us In)" (Epic; 2004)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

It would be easy to say that Chevelle's "This Type of Thinking (Could Do Us In)" is just like all the other contemporary rock bands out there that sound the same. The CD contains music that comes from the very popular hard rock formula that is perfect for modern radio airplay and, in fact, permeates much of modern rock radio today.

It would be easy to say that but it would also be unfair. While Chevelle's "This Type of Thinking" may fit into that genre, it also stands head and shoulders above it. Much of this has to do with the band's songwriting. The lyrics here are thoughtful and poetic and the melodies comfortably involving without ever being too sweet or pandering to an easily amused radio audience. 

"This Type of Thinking" is at its best when the band puts the pedal to the metal, delivering songs with surprisingly fat and crushing riffs. The songs on this CD will be hugely powerful when performed live. The CD is at its least when the tempos slow. In fact, many of the slower-paced songs on this CD sound surprisingly alike.

Overall, however, "This Type of Thinking" is an entertaining and engrossing CD. Fans of the first CD will find plenty to like here and those who like modern rock will continue to consider Chevelle a leader in the genre. 

Chevelle: Peter Chevelle, Samuel Chevelle, Joseph Chevelle.

For more information, check out http://www.chevelleinc.com

"This Type of Thinking (Could Do Us In)" (Epic; 2004)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

When I picked up this Chevelle disc I did it with no understanding of their blood ties. Unlike brothers who play football and often team older against younger, the Chevelle brothers band together and deliver some heavy riffs a la Helmet and use distant vocals via Tool. I’m most impressed by their commitment to each other as well as their music.

Their music, which sounds volatile and distraught, doesn’t match their lyrics. There is a searching nature to what they are saying. You could stick them on a tour bus with A Perfect Circle or even Taproot but Chevelle would be the center of attention. Sure, they play the modern rock sound and too many people hitting the same note deafen any new sounds but Chevelle, by nature, deliver a different signal.

Usually when I thin out my music collection I toss what tasted good during a phase and keep Chevelle so I can visit a different time of modern rock. My only caveat is that the slow interludes may give you pause, but when the intense riffs kick you in the back of the head you’ll be glad to stayed on for the ride.

The best tracks are “The Clincher,” “Get Some,” “Vitamin R (Leading Us Along),” and “Panic Prone.”

Chevelle is: Pete, Sam and Joe Chevelle.

For more information, check out http://www.chevelleinc.com

"Wonder What's Next" (Epic; 2002)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

"Wonder What's Next" is a collection of mid-tempo rock tunes that are perfect for airplay on a modern rock station. Depending on your point of view, that can be either a good or a bad thing. Good if you love the modern rock sound and haven't got enough of bands like Creed, Taproot or Live. Bad if you're sick to death of it.

"Wonder What's Next" is lively enough and different enough (only just barely) to stand out in a seriously overflowing crowd. I think the band's later work is more polished, focused and mature but this one ain't bad. It may not have you giving it spin after spin but it won't find yourself reaching for the Eject switch too often either.

For more information, check out http://www.chevelleinc.com

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Revised: 14 Sep 2017 02:01:04 -0400.