Review Summary: Their turn toward making things "harder" is understandable, but a mistake that will hurt them if they can't learn to stimulate some good product from their decision.
While their major-label debut "Wonder What's Next" dominated the radio, charts, and hearts of critics, there was an un-deniable fact about Chevelle's successful blockbuster of a record. Its prominent features and signature sound were catchy but not by any means everlasting. In order to avoid the pain and agony of the deadly "Sophomore Slump," the boys would have to show some real growth upon what they did with their debut.
Unfortunately, "This Type of Thinking (Could Do Us In)," the official second major-label release from Chevelle, features almost nothing that wasn't done on "Wonder What's Next."
The best bits of "This Type of Thinking..." are in the album's singles "The Clincher," and "Vitamin R," as well as the track "Still Running," which sounds like it borrowed half of the melody to the title track from "Wonder What's Next." Most of everything else on the record doesn't attempt to come up with a strong hook like that of "The Clincher," or anything on the preceding record. Many songs like "Tug-O-War," and "Emotional Drought," are drowned out with plentiful open drop B strums, while others like "Panic Prone," and "Get Some," provide you with awkward goosebumps from Pete Loeffler's new love for attention, which wasn't featured on "Wonder What's Next," where he served as an equal contender rather than a frontman or leader. Now the production emphasizes Pete and his odd choice of lyrics, which are often repeated excessively and clearly so the listener is fully aware of the fragmented thought he is stressing.
Everything else on the album introduces itself as something to stay and listen to, but ultimately never turns into anything as groovy or addictive as anything on WWN. Everything on this record does manage to be PAR level alt-metal, likely still able to beat out much of Chevelle's competition. Not to mention, cuts like "The Clincher," and "Vitamin R" show that they still retain the gift that helped them write songs like "Family System," and "Wonder What's Next." The problem is that on their debut, Chevelle found a way to make every track memorable and distinguishable, while they only really pulled it off with a few cuts on "This Type of Thinking." The intro to "Emotional Drought," sounds like a less-intense version of the intro to a track that comes much earlier in the record, "Breach Birth," and the song couldn't seem more unnecessary once its bridge commences, which will undoubtedly remind you of the chorus on Tug-O-War.
Their turn toward making things "harder" is understandable, but a mistake that will hurt them if they can't learn to stimulate some good product from their decision. Treading the lines of heavy-metal and alternative-rock on WWN allowed Chevelle to make melodies that fit well in a softer landscape but were blasted through piles of distortion. They keep most riffs rough and hook-less here and it certainly makes things sour. This is an album that feels longer than 11 songs due to its clunkiness and lack of substance. There is always a high risk of dread with the sophomore slump, and the boys prove further down the road that they just needed to develop a sense of direction from here.