Chevelle, ‘La Gargola’ – Album Review
Well over a decade into their career, Chevelle are not only going strong, they’re thriving and still evolving as a band. Nowhere is this more evident than on the group’s latest effort, ‘La Gargola.’
Working closely with producer Joe Barresi, who has been involved with some of the best hard records of the last decade, the band made sure to explore the variety of options in their musical palette rather than paint themselves into a corner. In a recent studio preview of the disc, frontman Pete Loeffler stated, “I came into this with a lot of ideas, a lot of fuzz pedals and different sounds that I wanted to go for and techniques and [Joe’s] been open with everything.”
That experimentation is evident right from the beginning of the album where the opening percussion on ‘Ouija Board’ sounds more like muted cymbals or the clanking of pots and pans before digging into the heavy distortion-filled track. They keep up their signature driving rock sound on ‘An Island’ and are completely dialed into the aggression by the time their current single ‘Take Out the Gunman’ kicks in.
Other album highlights include the heavy drum and blistering guitar play on ‘Jawbreaker,’ the sinister sounding ‘Hunter Eats Hunter,’ and a pair of more moody and contemplative tracks — the atmospheric ‘One Ocean’ and the hypnotic album closer ‘Twinge.’ On the latter track, Pete Loeffler delves into the whisper-heavy style mined so well by Deftones over the years. Meanwhile, ‘One Ocean’ finds drummer Sam Loeffler keeping a beat that’s deceptively catchy and turns more triumphant as the song builds.
All in all, fans have come to know what to expect from Chevelle and the band definitely deliver on many of the signature sounds they’ve generated over the years. But ‘La Gargola’ finds Chevelle not content to rely on past glories and not shying away from thinking outside of the box.