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La Gárgola
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:$6.91+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on April 2, 2014
I purchased La Gargola last night, and have been listening to it steadily ever since, as I really wanted it to sit with me for awhile before I reviewed it. I actually would rate the album up to 4 and 1/2 stars (unfortunately, Amazon does not allow this). La Gargola is a mixture of many different elements, and in my opinion offers quite a bit that needs to be digested over a period of time, but it is a very good, if not excellent Chevelle album in my opinion. Just so others can see my vantage point, my two favorite Chevelle albums are Vena Sera and Hats Off to The Bull. Although La Gargola is not as anthemic/soaring as those albums, it is very unique, and very good in other ways, so I would rank La Gargola as one of their better albums hands down, and what I consider to be their most experimental to date.

There is a lot to take in with this, and a lot of different musical elements, so I will see if I can break it down a bit. However, the one thing that I wish there a bit more of on this album are the soaring anthemic vocals and hooks that I love about Chevelle. La Gargola does have its anthemic/soaring moments in the traditional Chevelle vein, but in my opinion is much heavier and a bit thrashier than past offerings. However, I have to say that La gargola is really unique and definitely pretty grooving in the Chevelle way (you can equal parts head bang and dance to the songs, the songs just groove like that), that we have come to know and love.

While there are undoubtedly influences of many different kinds of music genres in Chevelle's sound, I vigorously differ with any one who takes the position that Chevelle rips off any band. I find their music to be decidedly their own and consistently some of the best and most unique rock and roll out there, and I believe la Gargola, after many listens to be their most unique offering to date.

Ok, now to the actual songs.

Ouija Board- Excellent opening track- Very hard and grooving with some unique elements. I would rate this song an 8 to 8.5. I wouldn't say that the chorus is one of Chevelle's most melodic, but the song altogether is really very good. If my ears are not betraying me, there seems to be almost a little bit of a System of a Down vibe to this song. A near classic.

The ISland- One of my personal favorites. Hard and grooving with some epic riffing. I was grooving hard to this one. I think this one is likely to become a Chevelle classic. I would rate it a 9.5-10.

Take out the Gunman- I am sure most of you heard this. Definitely a grooving hard rocker in the traditional Chevelle sense. An easy 8.5 to 9 rating.

Jawbreaker- Another hard rocker. Some pretty good vocals. This one is also likely to become a classic or near classic for Chevelle in my opinion. i can just see a lot of Chevelle fans liking this one a lot. This is a pretty unique song, and i think it merits an easy 8.5 to 9 rating.

Hunter Eats Hunter- Not one of my personal favorites, but if I am looking at it objectively, it is a very good song. Hard groover, with some good vocals. Not as catchy or grooving as I'd normally like, but there is definitely a grooving element to it, and the quality of the musicianship on the song is apparent. I would rate this a 7-8, but I could easily see if other fans rated it higher.

One Ocean- Slower song, with unique elements. I think this song will be an instant Chevelle classic for those fans who appreciate more than just the harder songs. Excellent vocal work and the chorus is outstanding. I rate this a 9-10

Choking game- pretty hard rocker, and a grooving Chevelle anthem in my opinion. I think a near to actual classic. I would rate this 9-10. One of my album favorites. Great vocal work and musicianship.

The Damned- It's got some unique elements, and it's a pretty good hard rocker, but this track did not stand out for me in comparison to the others. I would rate this about a 6 or 7.

Under the Knife- A little better than The Damned but ultimately, it did not offer enough for me keep coming coming back to it. Although I would imagine this song will play very good live. Some heavy riffing and a fairly memorable chorus with some rugged vocals. I would rate this a 7 maybe 7.5.

Twinge- Another slow burner, that takes its time to build, but is an excellent track. I could see this one becoming a classic. Very unique and complex song structuring makes this a very good, if not excellent song. 9-10 rating.

So all in all I tried to get this review right, based on multiple listens. In short, I woud say the vocal work is very varied, and very good, with a little less emphasis on being soaring and more emphasis on emotion. The musicianship and talent in putting this album together is readily apparent. I would say go out and purchase this album, because there are not a lot of great rock bands out there, and Chevelle is at the top of the list, and most certainly deserves fan support to be able to continue to provide us with great music. More importantly, the album is worthy of purchase and provides some great music. Thanks for reading, and I welcome any comments. I hope you all enjoy La Gargola.
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on April 14, 2014
First thoughts…

Stronger collection of songs. I wonder what they cut out and what might make it on to the “B sides” of the singles. In the past people have mentioned how much they remind them of Tool or A Perfect Circle and I could “kind of hear it” in the past. That being said, it seems much more apparent on this disc. I don’t say that in a bad way either. The flow of the music assault is top notch. They’ve rarely sounded tighter than they do hear. “Under the Knife”, “The Damned” and “Choking Game” really highlight the similarities while still allowing Chevelle to live inside the sound. The mastering is just right. Not low-fi under produced or super over done (which has been the case in both direction on some past efforts). Singles like “Take out the Gunmen” and “Hunter Eats Hunter” do a decent job of painting the picture of what to be expected with the release but you miss something in those songs that this collection also has. Songs like “One Ocean” and “Twinge” call out another side of what Chevelle does well: Open, washing sonics with a wistful sadness instilled into the music that you can feel. There are some other high spots on the collection as well that, I think, will appeal to listener across the board (not just die hard Chevelle fans).

IF you like Chevelle: pick it up I think it’s worthwhile
IF you are on the fence: Listen to it free on iTunes (currently streaming) or add it to Spotify
IF you’re so-so with them: Listen to “Take Out the Gunmen”, “Under the Knife” and “One Ocean”
If you don’t like Chevelle: I totally wasted like 5 minutes of your time.
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on August 1, 2015
I’ve absolutely dug this new Chevelle. While “Wonder What’s Next?” will always be my personal fave and “This Type of Thinking” and “Vena Sera” were heavy classics “La Gargola” stings and crushes both with its heaviness and its melody/ groove. While Chevelle has tried to improve on melody in their songs it’s been a learning experiencing. “Sci Fi Crimes” just wasn’t that good and “Hats Off To the Bull” quite a bit better but often forgettable. They’ve come a long way with “La Gargola”, balancing heavy and dense sounds with locatable, pleasant, and repeating melodies that have a little groove to them sometimes…and it works. I didn’t think that I’d ever use “melody” or “groove” when discussing a Chevelle project but here it is. “Choking Game” is top of my list. Perfect drums and a low banging quick bass support some excellent heavy but melodic guitars in a song that whips you around. Pete’s singing is angry and brusque and all about the emotion and the pacing of the song, especially in the singing, keeps you tuned in. I’m not sure if the lyrics are any kind of deep as the songs are often open to interpretation but much penetrative intent is brought in with the aggressive emotional expressions that these guys are interested in. You can fully understand the criticism that these guys are one-note when most every song is hard, heavy, and angry. But if that type of music does it for you then you’re going to love “La Gargola”. I like every song and have had this disc on repeat for the last week. It’s interfered with my listening to other new music and I’ve been totally okay with that. Favorite tracks: the rush of “Choking Game”, a great song that charges all over the place; the head-bobbing bass groove assault on “Jawbreaker”; the scary woods story and power cord heavy rise/falls of “Hunter Eats Hunter”; and honorable mention for the socially relevant and horrible reality of “Take Out the Gunman”. Chevelle ends the album on a lower, slower note with the effective and unstable sound of “Twinge” but they also throw in a surprise mid-disc with the musically effective, wistful sounds of “One Ocean” and Pete breathily singing slowly and clearly (for once) a hopeful sounding tune. While I really like “One Ocean” it does show off how Pete is not a great singer. Let’s admit it. Though that’s something I actually like about his singing, it’s not about being pretty, clean, technical and what not (none of those things bad). It’s about the emotions he’s exploring and it was nice to hear him explore the emotions of hope and unity for a change. But…some people are likely to wonder why he’s pulling a cat through a pasta strainer as that’s what his voice sounds like on part of the chorus here. Still, I’ll take more of it. I love this release.
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on April 1, 2014
I have loved this band from the beginning. Yes it is more of the same, but personally that is what I want. All bands now a days try to reinvent themselves, but these guys stick to playing their great style of music. More bands should use this formula. Most of the time bands try new things and end up ruining themselves. Like the old saying goes "if it ain't broke don't fix it". KEEP MAKING THE SAME MUSIC CHEVELLE YOU GUYS ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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on June 9, 2014
Don't get me wrong, I love this band and always will. I love how for everything they make, you have to listen to the whole song to get the full experience. If you don't like the intro, wait till the middle or the end, because it will sound like a different song by then. This album carries on that tradition. I listened to this for a month straight in my car to and from work before I decided to write a review.

Some songs I liked instantly (An Island, Take Out the Gunman), others I grew to like in time (Jawbreaker, Choking Game), and a couple were different but I liked the change (One Ocean, Twinge). "One Ocean" sounds like it could be on a U2 album...with a little Incubus influence in the beginning. Despite this, I still liked it. "Twinge" sounds like a straight up Deftones cover. I liked it...hated it...liked it. I guess you have to be in the mood for whisper rock.

My problem with this album is Pete's tendancy to sound whiny. For instance, "Take out the Gunman" sounds like a hard rock/groove metal anthem until a minute into it, when it's just looonnggg drawwwn ouuttt lyrics. Then it picks up again...then comes "a bliiindddingg rioottttt....", instantly losing whatever badass vibe it had going for it. "Hunter Eats Hunter" is another one with hard rock moments....then sulky whining ...then hard rock.

I KNOW these guys can kick ass. I'm still a huge fan. Just slightly disappointed with some of the "wimpy" moments in a few of these songs. It's like they can't make up their mind whether they want to rock out or host open mic at the local coffee house...IN THE SAME SONG.
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on April 10, 2014
I've been attracted to Chevelle since their debut album. Each album offered something slightly different, although, I feel Vena Sera was a bit weak but I still listen to it. Their debut and This Type of Thinking (Could Do Us In) are their best and showed the world their style. Now, for La Gargola, listening to it on repeat for the past days, I grew to love it and have yet to stop listening to it. I'm actually pleasantly surprised. It's a new sound, a heavier sound, LOVE the heavier sound. Yes, it's different their more subdued sound in their previous albums, but that's a sign of a maturing band, when they evolve their sound so not to be putting out the same thing with every album. That gets boring after a while and fans will get bored and become disinterested. The guitars are heavier which is music to my ears and Pete still incorporates his iconic soft vocals and screams throughout the album. Chevelle is the only American rock band I've remained loyal to. Many of the other American bands I used to listen to have changed their sound so much that it almost becomes a disappointment to the rock genre, or they disbanded. Also, the American "rock bands" out today, to me, are a joke. That is one of the many reasons I have strayed into other countries' rock bands. Chevelle is the only American rock band, I feel, that has remained loyal to the genre in their 10+ years together and they are still going strong and this album is evidence of such strength. Ordered the album on the 7th, arrived on the 9th and had it on repeat since then on my ipod. So far, can't get enough of the heaviness. Love it.

So, with that, 5 stars for this album. Chevelle continues to evolve their sound and, so far, haven't disappointed this fan :-)
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on April 10, 2014
I have over the years been an on and off fan of the group. I lived in the town over from where they originated from and understand the cultural music standards of the times and even then when this group was starting out with their debut, it seemed a struggling effort.

I believe this band grows intensively with every new album. The growth is most known and prevalent between the "Sci-fi Crimes" and Hats Off To the Bull" albums. The evolution of their sound is slow, but steady and I believe that this album, "La Gargola" is a definitive album of a group of guys that have come a long way and deserve every bit of recognition. The sound from Chevelle has always been dark in tone and pulls from the singer's love of the band Tool, but uniquely they add a flavor of their own style. I disbelieve in the notion that they're a band that "Has songs that all sound the same." If one would take the chance to listen to their music and not be quick to judge, then they will find a strong group.

This album explores a much darker tone in my humble opinion and songs like the first two kick start the album with a ferocious wave of sound. The album has a slower one in a ballad sense, but is also a worthy track to add balance. A great, great album. I can't give it enough stars. Check it out!
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on May 15, 2015
Pleasantly surprised that Chevelle, despite putting out a constant stream of new material, is still quite at home on La Gárgola. It's a solid rock record, authentic to their sound and attitude. "Take Out The Gunman" is a great example of the great, straightforward rock these guys are known for. They haven't caved in terms of production or general songwriting. It's great to see them stick to their guns. I was less impressed with some of the slower, more brooding songs, but they aren't terrible either. The first half of the record is definitely stronger and has better hooks than that latter part. Towards the end of the 10 track LP, it start to run out of steam a little. Still, this is the first record I've purchased in awhile and I'm very satisfied with it.
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on May 30, 2014
I'll start off by mentioning the recording. This is definitely a little gritty and it seems like that was intended. My hifi system did not clean it up as well as I would have expected (I bought the CD, not the compressed versions). It's definitely not anywhere near as dirty as Foo Fighters One By One. It's got a similar grunge to Linkin Park's Hybrid Theory or some of Eminem's stuff.

Once again Chevelle has managed to sound unquestionably like Chevelle but create a flavor unique to this specific album. More of a Hats of to the Bull sound than a Sci-Fi Crimes sounds, but again in a different flavor. With that said, I can't give it five stars because I just haven't had the driving desire to listen to it over and over again like I've had with previous albums. I also realized as I write this that there are no individual songs that stand out as better than the others. While I like the album as a whole, it's got a hint of "meh" to it that makes it hard for me to love.
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on December 11, 2017
Another great album from Chevelle. This is honestly some of their best work since their first album. Heavy and very good.
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