Chevelle have been selling millions of albums for the best part of 20 years in the US, and yet they seem to have been somewhat overlooked elsewhere.
Read their press and you might get the impression they’re part of the slew of ultra-successful, content-lite rockers whose music you’ll hear across the States, blasting from pick-up trucks festooned in ‘Honk For Jesus!’ bumper stickers. Yet the Chicagoans’ seventh studio album (which hit the Top 3 in the States in April) proves that their schtick is far more nuanced than that. La Gárgola’s immediate feel of Tool-like malignance is backed up by singer Pete Loeffler’s Keenanesque drawl and a production job from one Joe Barresi. This prog metal sense sits behind songs written with a real sense of purpose, such as the bruising Jawbreaker. Then there are tracks, like album closer Twinge, which eschew the vast vocal hooks and instead plump for simmering, barely containable malice. The contempt lies slickly on Loeffler’s lips, at once preacher and sinner, channelling Keenan and mastering the explosive versatility of Chino Moreno. This ‘Gargoyle’ is twisted, diverse and hugely gratifying.