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Chevelle: 'La Gárgola' Album Review

Ashley Hawkins |
April 3, 2014 | 1:16 a.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

The band's seventh release is sure to be one of the best rock releases of the year. (Photo via epicrecords.com)
The band's seventh release is sure to be one of the best rock releases of the year. (Photo via epicrecords.com)
“La Gárgola,” the seventh and newest release by the Chicago-based rock band Chevelle, is exactly what any fan would expect from the band: heavy guitar riffs, vocals ranging from soft singing to screaming, and – most importantly – the forceful energy that has come to characterize their music.

First exploding onto the rock charts in 2002 with the (still) extremely popular singles “The Red” and “Send the Pain Below” off the band’s major label debut and second full-length album “Wonder What’s Next,” Chevelle have solidly established themselves as experts in the rock industry.

Nonetheless, although backed by a substantial ever-loyal fan base, the band has not achieved the same level of mainstream success with their four subsequent releases despite a few of popular singles, including 2009’s “Jars.”

However, with “La Gárgola,” the band may have a chance at recapturing some wide scale attention. The first single off the album, “Take Out the Gunman,” is already at the number two spot on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart.

A song that simultaneously rekindles the aggression of old Chevelle albums with the impassioned screaming while introducing a mellower, drum-driven style in the verses, this first single illustrates the versatility of the entire album.

On the calmer end of the spectrum, “One Ocean” also features a drum-heavy backbone that allows singer Pete Loeffler’s somewhat husky vocals to shine. Similarly, the last song on the album, “Twinge,” highlights Pete’s talents as a singer with his soft, ethereal delivery. 

Alternatively, most of the songs on the album are heavy. “Ouija Board,” the opening track, and “Under the Knife” are high-energy, intense songs characterized by mostly growled and yelled vocals. Additionally, “An Island,” “Jawbreaker,” and “Choking Game” are other incredibly powerful tracks, fueled by catchy, crunchy, dominant guitar melodies accented by forceful drums and strong bass.

Yet, despite the varied styles throughout the album, “La Gárgola” is a cohesive release that is distinctly Chevelle. Perhaps the only true shortcoming of this album is that a couple of the songs are not entirely fresh; “The Damned” sounds akin to the Chevelle “The Clincher” off 2004’s “This Type of Thinking (Could Do Us In).” Likewise, the second single, “Hunter Eats Hunter,” sounds very similar to songs off the band’s last album, “Hats Off to the Bull.”

Overall, the album is a solid hard rock release sure to please Chevelle’s established fan base as well as entertain new listeners. 

Read more of NT’s album reviews here.

Reach Staff Reporter Ashley Hawkins here.



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