Album: La Gárgola
For fans of hard rock or alternative rock, Chevelle should need no introduction. To this day, you can’t turn on a rock radio station without hearing “The Red” or “Send the Pain Below”, their most well-known tracks from the early 00’s. This trio of musicians is the epitome of hard work and dedication. In 2011, they released their critically acclaimed 6th album, Hats Off to the Bull which spawned a single from the title track as well as “Face to the Floor” and “Same Old Trip”, some of the more experimentally-flavored Chevelle material to date. However, that was nothing compared to their 7th album, La Gárgola. In early February, the band unleashed their newest track, “Take Out the Gunman”, which served as the lead single from the album, receiving generally positive, but mixed, reactions from fans. I’ve heard talk about how they sounded like a Tool rip-off both vocally and instrumentally. It seems that the elite just have to get their opinions in. While I will admit that it has a bit of a Tool-esque vibe to it, they are in two entirely different realms musically. Both Maynard James Keenan and Pete Loeffler are incredible lyricists in their own respect, but they have quite different styles of writing. I didn’t come here to talk about what others are saying, though so I digress.
La Gárgola begins with the eerie bell tone from “Ouija Board”, immediately exploding into a ferocious opening track that will instantly blow your mind. Pete has a unique way of throwing aggression into his melodies, something that is widely attempted but not executed in such a way that you feel every lyric throughout your body. Not very many bands can say that they effectively instill each and every desired feeling accurately and effectively into you within each and every track. When you hear the words “Are you up for anything?” the way that Loeffler fires them out in this track, you know that you’re in for something aggressive.
Of course, the band also has a softer side, such as in tracks like “One Ocean”, which could easily serve as their next single. This track is, more or less, about finding yourself out at sea. It’s about embracing the peace, the calm and the serenity you find when you’re standing near the ocean. “If I don’t surface soon, I may never and say farewell to this odyssey, a bit of heaven” Loeffler proclaims, indicating that he has found the peace within himself and that, if he were to die, he would be at peace with his life. Forget all your sorrows, your problems and the things that are bothering you and embrace your “One Ocean”.
One of my favorite tracks, which is more the typical “Chevelle storytime” type is called “Hunter Eats Hunter”. From the sound of this one, Loeffler is describing a horrible nightmare he had in vivid detail. He hears something outside so, naturally, he grabs a flashlight and goes to check it out. He sees eyes staring at him, inhuman eyes… evil eyes. He knows that his primal instinct will take over and it’s fight or flight. His first instinct is to run, but he knows it will follow him so he decides to stay and fight it, overcome his fear and it becomes hunter versus hunter. “When hunter, meets hunter, this hunter, eats hunter.” This line indicates that he overcame his fear and was victorious against this creature. The track has an eerie type of feel throughout, making for quite the ride for the listener.
Whether it be tracks like “One Ocean” or “Twinge” that are more heartfelt and subtle, tracks like “Ouija Board”, “Jawbreaker” or “The Damned” which are filled with aggression or tracks like “Take Out the Gunman” and “Hunter Eats Hunter” which are more the typical “Chevelle storytime” type of tracks that tell of the many wicked things that go through Pete’s head, there is something for every Chevelle fan on La Gárgola. If you haven’t checked it out yet, definitely do yourself a favor and pick it up through your favorite retailer, digital or physical. You’ll be glad you did!
“Take Out the Gunman” (Official Lyric Video)
“Hunter Eats Hunter” (Audio Stream)