Chevelle is the newest band to release an album for Steve Taylor's own label, Squint. Three brothers, Joe, Pete, and Sam Loeffler make up this hard rock band from Chicago. The band plays solidly together, but fail to offer up material that reflects the band's full potential.
Their debut album, Point #1 starts off with the instrumental track "open" which begins with a riff that continues into the next song, "point #1." By the time the two songs are over, almost 6 and a half minutes later, the riff is overused and monotonous, where, if used only in the 1st song for a short time, may have seemed a lot more appealing.
Lead singer, Pete wavers in between mellow, sometimes whiney vocals and loud, aggressive screams. Sometimes both seem out of place. Their style is appealing, but their form of releasing aggression is occasionally over-exaggerated. The CD closely reminds me of the late grammatrain's debut album, lonely house, a solid disc with great organization, meaningful songs, and an aggression that could consume you and help relieve some of your own. Chevelle's Point #1 tries to do that, but unfortunately, never reaches that level of excellence. I admire their attempt, but am disappointed about their overall production.
Their message is hard to interpret in the songs. Pete's vocals vary too inconsistently between low groans and loud screams for the listener to understand what is being heard. However, since the prerelease we received has no lyrics, it is hard to judge what the lyrical content is. But the band is quoted by saying, "I perceive the world as really selfish," insights Pete. "I think that's where a lot of people's hearts are. Some of our songs sound somewhat angry and are speaking out against those things." Sam adds, "There is that aggression or an expression of disappointment, but you have to fight to live that way."
After the first half a dozen listens to Point #1, I was left unfazed and disappointed in this project. However, after occasionally popping the disc in weeks later, I found some appealing tracks like "Prove to You" and that most of the songs were listenable. While I admit I was too harsh in my initial critique of Point #1, I still feel the band could be serving up some real great songs, but instead gave us the ones they have in the meantime.
For fans of early Grammatrain or aggressive loud music, Point #1 is for you. And I stand by my original observation that Chevelle is a band to watch in the future and their sophomore release should show the growth that we're looking for.- Review date: 9/11/99, written by John DiBiase
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