The three brothers who make up Chevelle (it’s their last name) have returned strong for their second album, “This Type of Thinking (Could Do Us In)”. Basically, they stick to the same strategy that brought us “Wonder What’s Next,” which was released in 2002 and broke out with “The Red” and then even more prominently with “Send the Pain Below”. Chevelle continues to pump out heavy and driving chord patterns, screaming vocals, and a strong appeal to the abandoned and disheartened. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to have matured over the two years . . . “This Type of Thinking” just picks up where “Wonder What’s Next” left off, without any new hooks or risks taken. Of course, if you loved the first album that should come as good news – if you liked that one, you’ll like this one, too.
This album carries a dismal undercurrent – the lyrics are very somber while the guitars are intense and jerky, at times. Even the artwork for the CD (for those of us who still buy music and get to see the art) follows the disc’s ongoing theme of sterility and imprisonment in our society, all black and white with a skeletal man in a lab coat. The lyrics themselves are very edgy – very tense and almost broken. They speak a lot about weakness and hopelessness, as anyone would expect from a current rock album, but often approach it from the aspect of breaking through instead of sinking in.
While the album is very strong as a whole, it doesn’t really have any songs that jump out and hit you like “The Red”, or any insightful anthems destined to be overplayed like “Send the Pain Below”. The first single is “Vitamin R (Leading Us Along)”; it’s not a really catchy or powerful song compared to others on the record, but a solid song, nonetheless. Most of the songs do not stand out as obvious singles, but there are several that are stronger than the others. The first track, “The Clincher”, is trademark Chevelle – raucous guitars and drums, driven by haunting and wailing vocals . . . if you’ve seen them live you can just picture the singer making his “baby bird ready for worms” face every time he screams. On “Another Know it All”, Chevelle takes the powerful guitars present throughout the whole album and kicks them into overdrive, creating a really cool song that makes your head throb along with it (in a good way). That combined with great lyrics step this song up a notch above the others. Also, make sure that you pay close attention to the vocals and even the guitar on track 10, “Emotional Drought”. It has a definite Tool feel to it.
“This Type of Thinking” shows that, while Chevelle may not be ready to expand themselves beyond their original sound, they are not a band that will only be appreciated for their first album. I would have liked to see them play more with their sound . . . they could have at least thrown us one or two curveballs . . . but I’m content with the fact that they stuck to their guns and remained heavy and powerful. It’s good fist-pumping music . . . it’s Chevelle.
The Inside Pulse:
This album is definitely worth checking out, especially if you liked “Wonder What’s Next”. While it doesn’t deviate much from the path of the first album, it’s still a whole new record with 11 tracks of great rock music . . . well – maybe not the last track. OK – it’s 10 new tracks of great music. Even if you’re disappointed that they didn’t try anything new, be content with the fact that they’re still kicking ass like only Chevelle can.