Review Summary: Sci-Fi Crimes would easily make the top ten of year’s most uneventful releases.
With their most imaginative album art ever and illusive track titles, it would be too easy to feel fuzzy for this -- possibly the conceptual remains of their previous four recordings finally coalescing into an explosive masterpiece -- Sci-Fi Crimes
isn’t that masterpiece. If Chevelle were fortunate enough to be one of your first loves during puberty, approaching this from above will be as effortless for you as getting into Wonder What’s Next
was. For others, it will be fairly unambiguous that their formulaic realm of late 90s loud-soft pulsating hard rock is past its use-by date. Showing little, if any, signs of new founded inventions from the Loeffler brothers and their more recent family member instalment, it's music should make the fans wondering what was going to be next, a passing reality, but not much else. Is it that hard to develop a song into anything but what they or the Deftones
did years ago?
Brushing past the guitar focussed choruses of “Fell Into Your Shoes” “Mexican Sun”
and “Shameful Metaphors”
may prove to be difficult as they are, rather powerful in their own right. However don’t expect it to deviate much from here, even during their respective verses. That is essentially the issue; deviation from the old to the new merely needs a subtle push from one of the band members and they’ll be trekking into another decade with innovation and musicality hand in hand and not its rivalling twin. Brief moments like this are obtained, and let’s face it; relentless attempts with the same hammer usually yield their own momentary results. “Roswell’s Spell”
is certainly one of these with Pete showing more emotive side to his usual cringing yells, further demonstrating that when he’s thinking more for his brains and not his lungs, the outcomes are for the better.
But as for the remainder, this particular flying saucer hasn’t delivered any otherworldly souvenirs, unless you count the late-coming transitory acoustic movement, “Highland’s Apparition”
and the startling illogical placement of “Interlewd”
, both just stabs-in-the-dark to throw off the listener. As is to be expected, these, plus the dramatics and dynamics allow the trio to fluently rediscover the aforementioned five (possibly six if you include “Letter from a Thief”
) decencies, but sloppily abandon the leftovers to their own musical derivativeness. It’s been far too easy to churn out these four minute pseudo-epics -- and with all the alien allusions, for some this may feel even closer to being a truncated Lateralus
for the easy-listener than all of their previous work combined ever did.