Powering Through: Chevelle

I've followed the band Chevelle for quite a few years, beginning with their CD Wonder What's Next (iTunes link). During the years since, I've come to expect a certain feel from Chevelle's music, and their latest effort, Sci Fi Crimes, doesn't disappoint. One thing you can count on with the boys from Grayslake, Ill. is a straightforward, hard-hitting and melodic hard-rock album.

Chevelle began with brothers Pete (guitars, vocals), Sam (drums) and Joe (bass, backing vocals) Loeffler in 1995. Currently, however, the lineup switches Joe for the band's brother-in-law Dean Bernardini on bass, who took over in 2005 after a spastic flip-out-and-quit by Joe. The band has toured with such acts as Audioslave, Disturbed, Evanescence and Finger Eleven, and has been featured on the 2003 Ozzfest tour.

I'm embarrassed to say it, but their latest CD flew under my radar when it was released back in August 2009. At the time, I had pretty much stopped listening to radio and had instead plugged my iPhone into the stereo at every opportunity. Unfortunately, that doesn't lend to being able to catch what's being released and played on the air. I picked up this CD a month or so ago, and I have to say, the good old boys from Grayslake have delivered another great CD.

Featuring chunky, thematic riffs on radio-ready tunes such as Roswell's Spell and Jars, Chevelle once again lets their tremendous energy flow into their music without excuses. The story arc for each song is put together with classic Chevelle intros, verses and bridges, and gives us the crunchy edginess we've come to expect. There are also moments on this CD that fill a more melodic role with such songs as the lyric-less Interlewd and an acoustic ditty called Highland's Apparition.

One thing is for sure: if you're a fan of hard-rock and Chevelle in particular, you owe it to yourself to check out Sci Fi Crimes if you haven't already.

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