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Chevelle

Wonder What's Next

Format: CD   Release Date: 10/08/2002
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The title of the sophomore Chevelle disc is actually an apt question, as those following the group through the Chicago underground pondered what group would do on a sophomore disc that came with major-label backing and a move from noise-mensch Steve Albini to star-maker Garth Richardson at the production helm. However, any concerns they might have had are quickly allayed and, by the time the disc is over, forgotten about completely. The trio still reminds you of Tool, but unlike the cloning taking place by the unskilled likes of Earshot, Chevelle take the best part of Tool -- the melodrama and occasional nods to Maynard Keenan's vocal style -- and remove the pretension that the prog-metallers are often found to be indulging in. Chevelle than apply what is left within an indie rock mindset that comes through in spite of the slick production that, try as it might, doesn't allow Wonder What's Next to mimic what's on the radio. This doesn't mean that the disc is lacking good songs; quite the opposite, actually: "The Red," the first single, is a pulsating, emotional track built around a nifty bass riff and an excellent chorus; "Comfortable Liar" settles nicely into a post-Sabbath chug complete with superb percussion, and "Closure" is a power ballad that arm-wrestles between power and ballad with no clear winner, save for the listener. Chevelle managed to retain its credibility yet still put out 11 tracks that, while still catchy, offer uniqueness not often heard in more commercial fare, no mean feat. ~ Brian O'Neill, Rovi

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