CHEVELLE – ‘La Gárgola’
(Out Now on Epic)
THEY MAY BE A MULTI-MILLION platinum selling band in the US, but Chicago’s Chevelle are a relative unknown on European shores. Formed way back in ’95, brothers Loeffler have been kickin’ out Rock radio hits for 20 years. Their use of darkly-overdriven guitars, heart-thumping drums and harpooning choruses tell you everything you need to know about a band in search of sonic reinvention.
Produced by Joe Barresi of QOTSA and Tool fame, latest LP La Gárgola is riddled with surprisingly inviting passageways that do more than close the wormholes between releases from the aforementioned Californian Alternative-Metal masters. In fact, singer Pete Loeffler quite clearly has Maynard Keenans hormones injected into his butt, such are the similarities. But that’s not to say they’re narrow or singular in their intentions. There are moments here where the band step out from such imposing shadows and into Muse territory, the shimmering ‘One Ocean’ reminding us all what its like to hear a band at the top of their game.
The sound this trio creates feels effortless and often beyond their contemporaries despite its affinity. From the get go album number seven serves up chunky Rock work-outs that are immediate enough to grab you by the throat and weighty enough to sling you about the room for fifty minutes, leaving you bleeding, slack jawed and drooling for more. From the opening chug of ‘Ouija Board’ via the obsessive ‘Take Out the Gunman’, ‘Jawbreaker and the subversive ‘Choking Game’, Chevelle know how to take a tried and tested formula and turn it into something completely relevant. If it’s well known, it’s well done, so forget the obvious comparisons dive in and enjoy, because while their procreator’s waste time this lot are right here, right now, and right where you need them to be. (8)