Music / Chevelle
Chevelle is a hard rock band from Chicago
. Formed in 1995, the band consisted of three brothers: Pete Loeffler (guitar, vocals), Sam (drums), and Joe (bass). They're named after the Chevy Chevelle, a car that the brothers' dad liked.
With their second album, Wonder What's Next
and its breakthrough singles, "The Red" and "Send the Pain Below", Chevelle achieved great mainstream success. If you listen to any Alternative music station regularly, you've probably heard several of their songs. The band's style features heavy, down-tuned riffs, a driving rhythm section and Pete Loeffler's versatile singing, which can jump from a serene whisper to a shout in a moment's notice. Joe left the band in 2005 for disputed reasons and was replaced by Dean Bernardini, Pete and Sam's brother-in-law.
- Point #1 (1999)
- Wonder What's Next (2002)
- This Type of Thinking (Could Do Us In) (2004)
- Vena Sera (2007)
- Sci-Fi Crimes (2009)
- Hats Off To the Bull (2011)
- Stray Arrows- A Collection of Favorites (2012)
- La Gárgola (2014)
Chevelle provides examples of the following:
- All of the Other Reindeer: "The Red". "They say freak/ when you're singled out".
- Alternative Metal: An example that (usually) leans a little more towards the "alternative" part, which explains their exclusion from the Metal index in the musicians page.
- Altum Videtur: The album title Vena Sera, which literally translates to "in like vein", although Word of God gives "vein liquid" (i.e. blood) as the intended meaning.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The crimes of the people in the video for "The Fad" range from inventing e-mail spam and robbing old ladies to "wearing bikini briefs".
- Band of Relatives
- Careful with That Axe: Sing it, everybody: "SEEING RED AGAIN! SEEING RED AGAIN!"
- "Well Enough Alone" starts with an axe murder Metal Scream, and it can easily scare the crap out of an unprepared listener... especially if you're listening to Vena Sera in order for the first time, where this track comes right after the subdued ending of "Saferwaters".
- Darker and Edgier: La Gargola, musically. The instruments often drown out Pete Loeffler's vocals here.
- Determinator: "Hats Off To The Bull" which is about never giving up, just like a bull in a bullfight.
- Disproportionate Retribution: The video to "I Get It". Did your boss refuse to let you use the "winner's" elevator and steal your sandwich? Time to have him stalked by a clown, beaten up by a UFC champion, and tattooed with the words "Mr. Perfect" on his forehead. Admittedly, humiliating his employee when the guy was giving a presentation was pretty low, but still.
- Dysfunctional Family: The subject of "Family System".
- Harsher in Hindsight as, a couple of albums later Joe would leave/be kicked out of Chevelle (depending on whose side of the story you listen to) on acrimonious terms, only to be replaced by Dean Bernardini - the Loefflers' brother-in-law. One can only imagine that makes for some awkward family reunions - if, in fact, there are any at all.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Point #1 is much more unpolished than later works, in part due to Steve Albini's production. Pete's vocals are also different and the entire album has more of a debt to Tool's sound than succeeding albums.
- Indecipherable Lyrics: On the first listen, it can be nearly impossible to understand anything Pete is singing in "The Fad".
- Intercourse with You: "Pinata".
- The Invisible Band: The band members don't appear in the videos for "Mia", which features creepy claymation, and "I Get It".
- Lighter and Softer: "One Lonely Visitor" and "Bend The Bracket".
- Madness Mantra: SEEING RED AGAIN! SEEING RED AGAIN!
- Man on Fire: The video for "Point #1".
- Misanthrope Supreme: The speaker of "Safer Waters", who despises humanity so much he would like nothing more than to de-evolve and crawl back into the primordial ocean.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: About a 6, with heavier songs like "Family System" and "The Fad" in the 7 area. La Gargola is probably their heaviest work.
- Monster Clown: The video for "The Fad" has a gang of clowns kidnapping people and beating them up. Not enirely played straight, as the people were wrongdoers being taught a lesson and are freed afterwards. The "I Get It" video also has a clown in it.
- Mr. Fanservice: Pete and Joe, when he was in the band.
- Not Christian Rock: Caused a whole controversy due to the fact that they were briefly on a Christian label and the lyrics of a few songs like "Grab Thy Hand". The band members themselves are Christians, but Sam has said "None of us feels being a rock band on stage should be a pedestal for preaching".
- One Woman Song: "Mia". Incidentally, someone named Mia is thanked by the band in the liner notes to their first two albums.
- Performance Video: Almost all of the band's videos feature them performing the song in some context. "Letter From a Thief" consists entirely of this.
- Perishing Alt Rock Voice: Pete on Point #1 before his Vocal Evolution.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: "The Red", a play on the phrase "seeing red".
- Rock Trio
- Ripped from the Headlines: In a departure from their usual style, "Face to the Floor" is about the Bernie Madoff scandal.
- Surprisingly Gentle Song: They have a tendency to put one acoustic song on each album (except Vena Sera).
- Surreal Music Video: The clip for "Vitamin R (Leading Us Along)" appears to be this, with the lead singer floating through bizarre landscapes, along with the band performing in a hospital room, and some other random imagery. Once you realize what the song is about, it all makes sense, as the video represents the hallucinations sometimes experienced by people addicted to Ritalin.
- Take That:
- A couple songs from Vena Sera, such as "Brainiac" and "Well Enough Alone" are thought to be shots at ex-bassist Joe, who left (or was kicked out) under acrimonious conditions.
- "Wonder What's Next" from the eponymous album seems to be one to the entire music industry - or perhaps only Epic Records, who had recently signed them.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Joe, in several of the band's videos.
- Word Salad Lyrics: The lyrics are usually pretty oblique, although unlike Maynard James Keenan, Pete doesn't shy away from explaining what certain songs are about.