Album Review – Chevelle: Sci-Fi Crimes

Not to start off with a “look how cool I am” item, but I have listened to Chevelle since their first disc, Point #1.  I first heard of them when I saw their video for Mia on MTV at some riduclous time early in the morning.  The song sounded like Tool, kind of.  The video looked like a Tool video, kind of.  At the time (and to this day) Tool was my favorite band.  I loved them.  I ate, drank and slept AEnima when it came out and because of that infatuation with Tool, I loved anything that reminded me of Tool.  Back then I was more forgiving, I listened to any crappy band that stole MJK’s vocal style or kind of sounded like Tool.  Almost none of those band stuck with me except for Chevelle.  I never really thought of Chevelle in the context of “on of my favs” but with the release of Sci-Fi Crimes, they are up there.

I have enjoyed every Chevelle album to a point.  They have all had a handful of songs that I thought were excellent, but then the rest of the tracks bored me.  With this release they have made an album that is good all the way through, front to back.  The album starts off with Sleep Apnea and the opening guitar is distinctly Chevelle.  The track is good, but the album gets better as it goes on.  The chorus of Mexican Sun is excellent and it becomes very infectious.  The further you get into the album, the stronger it gets.

For the first time I feel like Chevelle has their own identity here.  Maybe that’s what was always missing for me.  Something to make Chevelle strong on their own, not because they sound like someone else or have a heavy influence from another artist.  And that’s what this disc does.  The first single, Jars is a perfect song for radio play.  While that will be disappointing to some, it doesn’t really matter because we all know Chevelle doesn’t get a ton of radio time no matter how good they are.  The track has another awesome rif with a really catchy chorus, but it’s still heavy enough for Chevelle to keep that edge.  The album really gets better the further you go.  Letter From A Thief is by far my favorite track on the album.  There is a certain emotion in it that Chevelle hasn’t displayed before.  The last two tracks finish the album off in awesome fashion.  The last track, This Circus has some of the best percussion that I have heard in quite awhile and like so many of the tracks here, the chorus will stick in your head for days.

Will this album convert people who have hated Chevelle?  No.  Will it make long time Chevelle fans happy.  Hell yes.  I think it’s their strongest work and gets better with each listen.  I also feel like it’s brought me closer to Chevelle, as cheesy as that sounds.  I feel like I can call them one of my favorites now because their body of work over 5 discs is strong enough to do so.  I would be surprised if this didn’t get a spot on my top ten this year.

Rating:  4.0 out of 5.0

Listen if you like:

  • 10 Years – Division
  • 30 Seconds to Mars – A Beautiful Lie
  • Tool – Lateralus

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