Chevelle – Hats Off to the Bull

January 10th, 2012  |  Published in CD Reviews

]Release Date: December 6th, 2011
Reviewed By Evelyn Miska Krieger

It may come as a bit of a surprise that Chevelle has been around since 1995 and has multiple albums under their belts. They often seem like one of those bands that pops up on local alternative rock radio and is more likely a one-hit wonder. Hats Off to the Bull corrects that misconception and shows startling depth and skill, going beyond the “just make it as loud as possible” approach and showing what some musical talent can do.

“Face to the Floor” begins with a great, in your face, crunchy sounding guitar riff that is the right balance of heavy and melodic. As with a number of their songs, “Face to the Floor” allows glimmers of harmonies and succeeds at the catchy chorus, but it manages to be more than just that and actually has some weight to it. In case there was any doubt, “Ruse” proves that Chevelle’s lead singer Pete Loeffler has quite a good set of vocal chords and doesn’t have to rely solely on screaming long and loud, though that technique is used occasionally. The track has a slower tempo and intense sound but not so overwhelming as to scare off listeners. As with quote a few of their songs, “Ruse” is tied together with a strongly composed chorus that has the distinct possibility of getting stuck in one’s head.

“Pinata” picks up the pace considerably with an almost break-neck tempo and some blistering guitarwork in the introduction. The only slight flaw to the track is the slightly silly metaphor used throughout and the resulting occasionally grimace-worthy lyrics. Luckily for Chevelle, the lyrics are outweighed by a good guitar solo and yet another really smartly composed chorus. It isn’t hard to imagine this moving up the charts on people’s choice charts. After an intense first half of the album, “Envy” demonstrates a well-done slow build. The track drastically slows things down and Loeffler’s vocals which are supported by some rather haunting backing vocals, verges on creepy and full of despair at times. It may not be as in your face, but the passion and intensity is still there, boiling under the seemingly calm surface.

Chevelle is a band that might be dismissed by some without just cause. They may not be the biggest name out there, but a close listen to Hats Off to the Bull makes it blatantly clear that they have a healthy dose of talent in both performance and composition. It won’t necessarily be the album that immediately leaps to the top of listeners’ playlists, but, like “Envy,” given adequate time for a slow build, will prove itself worthy of regular rotation.

Leave a Response

*

Recent Posts


Archives


Copy Protected by Chetan's WP-Copyprotect.