Review Summary: For Chevelle's second album it lacks talent. Can sometimes get repetitive. A very catchy and enjoyable hard rock album, that is worth getting.
Chevelle is a three piece band that formed in 1995 in Chicago. The trio consists of three brothers, Sam, Pete, and Joe Loeffler. Sam is the drummer, Pete plays a combination of vocals and guitar, and youngest member Joe plays bass. Chevelle started out small like most bands playing small venues and parties in the Chicago underground. Then this led to concerts and small clubs, and after four years the Loeffler brothers released their debut album “point #1”. It had some success, and led to a signing with Epic for Chevelle’s next album “Wonder What’s Next”. “Wonder What’s Next” went platinum and got Chevelle some plays on mainstream radio. Chevelle is a hard rock band, and Pete’s drastic loud to soft vocal style sometimes mimics that of Maynard James Keenan from Tool. Besides the fact Chevelle can sometimes get repetitive they are mainly very enjoyable. Those that listen to Breaking Benjamin, you’ll hear the same sort of sound from Chevelle.
“Wonder What’s Next” opens up with “Family System”. A soft guitar riff and silent, almost whispers makes up the intro to the song. Then it explodes into hard rock riffs from Pete and Joe. Pete’s vocals also elevate to almost a yell, and stay that way most of the song. The intro is repeated once or twice which is pretty catchy, and makes this track worth while. The next track is “Comfortable Liar” that has a different beginning than the first song. It starts off pretty heavy, and stays at that level for a bit. Lacking that exploding factor that “Family System” brings to the table makes “Comfortable Liar” different, but not bad in any way. Pete’s vocals again play cat and mouse from loud sharp dynamics to soft almost whispers. During the end of the song Pete screams for a bit as everyone elevates the loudness of their play to make the apex of the song very heavy and loud. “Send the Pain Below” is one of the most popular tracks on the album, if not the most popular track. It was a number one hit on mainstream radio stations, and for good reason. Starting off heavy like the last track “Send the Pain Below” has catchier, yet still heavy riffs. Pete plays a soft catchy guitar riff until the chorus’ where he sings “much like suffocating”, then Chevelle opens up and begins to get loud and heavy again. “Send the Pain Below” is one of the most enjoyable tracks on the album, don’t skip it.
The fourth song “Closure” is softer than the previous tracks, and doesn’t pick up much at all. The song is pretty repetitive, until the end where it finally picks up and Pete goes into his usual scream that signals the high point of the song. “The Red” is another great track on “Wonder What’s Next”. The lyrics are about an anger management institute, so you know it’s going to be somewhat heavy and explosive. Staying mainly heavy then picking up during the chorus like most good Chevelle songs “The Red” does not disappoint. During the parts where it picks up this track makes you yearn to press the repeat button just to hear it again. Pete screams the most in “The Red” than the other tracks, and it shows his vocal range off very well. The title of the album is the title for the next track “Wonder What’s Next. Joe the bassist, and the youngest of brothers in Chevelle doesn’t have very many shining moments in this album, but in the song “Wonder What’s Next” he plays a great intro, and a nice riff throughout. Pete speaks through most of the song, but starts off yelling. It’s in the class of one of the heaviest Chevelle songs on the album, and is another great track.
Next up is “Don’t Fake This”, the seventh track on “Wonder What’s Next”. It’s basically the same thing from the usual Chevelle, soft to medium loud intro that breaks out into a heavy riff. Pete’s vocals take on a majority of screaming during most of the song, which saves it from being too repetitive. “Forfeit” is the eighth track, and is another good one. Toning it down on the screaming, Pete sings less loud, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t play any less loud, neither does Sam or Joe. The heaviness is a constant throughout, dropping off and picking back up again and again. A combination of catchy riffs by Joe and Pete make this song worth while. Nearing the end of the eleven track album “Grab Thy Hand” shakes off that repetitive feeling somewhat. Combining all of Chevelle’s good points, catchy and heavy riffs, loud relentless yelling by Pete, and good noticeable drumming by Sam make “Grab Thy Hand” a not just heavy track, but a good heavy track.
“An Evening With el Diablo” is finally a different track by Chevelle. It shows off Joe’s bass playing during the intro and through out, and is the longest track on the album at 5 minutes and 58 seconds. It also shows off Chevelle’s instrumental talent more than most of the other tracks, with some parts in it going a minute of Chevelle just playing without vocals. The last track on “Wonder What’s Next” is “One Lonely Visitor”. The song is acoustic, which is very different coming from Chevelle. It’s really only just Pete the whole time, ranging vocals from screams to silent whispers, and some parts with rhythm. This song is a different way to end the album, not very well, but a good attempt at something different.