Although Chevelle’s latest album entitled La Gรกrgola, might sound like an unlicensed brothel teeming with STD’s, don’t be confused, it is indeed a follow-up full-length to the bands 2011 release Hats Off To The Bull.
When it comes to Chevelle I equate them to a block of Cadbury’s chocolate. They sound good, but you also generally have a good idea what you’re going to get before you unwrap the contents and take a few bites. This statement has rung true for their last couple of albums in particular and it is by no means a bad thing.
On La Gargola the band have actually gone back to their roots in many ways and into completely new territory in others. You still get that heavy melodic rock sound fans have grown to love, but La Gargola takes the band in a new, but familiar direction. The album as a whole is far less predictable than their last few releases, the tides of Chevelle have changed for the better.
Pick scraping across the strings, lots of distortion, fuzz and feedback, heck even a cowbell makes an appearance, La Gargola is the Willy Wonka of hard rock, it has it all.
It’s still hard to fathom that this is Chevelle’s seventh full-length album in their decade long career with no signs of slowing down or growing stale. This is Chevelle in their element, a perfect balance between melody and aggressiveness.
Production wise, La Gargola surprisingly places more emphasis on the instrumentation aspect more-so than the vocals. This is a big deal for many reasons, but the one big reason being previous releases focused more-so on front-man Pete Loeffler’s vocals than the underlying instrumentation.
Pete gets to take a more back-seat approach on this album, but still remain actively involved on the record.
You can hear the band having fun with the instrumentation aspect, cowbells, feedback, fuzz and all kinds of effects. There are less lyrics and more riffs, which works in the bands favour because some find Loeffler’s vocals overwhelming in large doses.
As a whole La Gargola is the closest Chevelle have come to topping their earlier material in a very long time. They came pretty close on Vena Sera, but this record has so much to like, it easily (at least for me) surpasses Sci-fi Crimes and Vena Sera with ease.
Rating: 9 out of 10.