Wednesday 23 Jul

Manmade Objects - Monuments

No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.

And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
07/15/2014 | Comments 0

Admirals - Amidst the Blue

Sometimes it helps to not be very good.

Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.

07/09/2014 | Comments 0

Kierston White - Don't Write Love Songs

The Tequila Songbirds have become just as beloved as about any group around these parts. And how could they not?

Featuring a revolving cast of the Sooner State’s most badass female performers, it’s a power hour of some of the best songwriting coming out of central Oklahoma. Sure, they might not technically be family, but they are clearly a band of sisters all the same, bonded by the same brand of whiskey running through their veins.

07/01/2014 | Comments 0

Depth & Current - Dysrhythmia

"Overproduced" is a term thrown around all too indiscreetly nowadays, usually applied when the thing that sticks out about a song or album is how it sounds rather than how it is constructed. Yet some of the most compelling albums ever crafted embodied a certain aesthetic that was just as skillfully and meticulously put together as any Bob Dylan or Miles Davis record — which is to say production is as crucial to our enjoyment of music as much as anything else; it's also the most overlooked.
06/24/2014 | Comments 0

Weak Knees - “IceBevo”

Indie rock has been in a good place as of late. Not caring about being cool is the new cool, and a couple of dudes on guitar, bass and drums can make catchy, earworm songs without being armed to the gills with computer software and vintage synthesizers.
06/17/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Rock solid

Rock solid

Chevelle likes it hard. Rock, that is. Staying true to that ideal has kept the band at the top.

Joshua Boydston March 14th, 2012

Chevelle with Middle Class Rut and Janus
7 p.m. Friday

Diamond Ballroom

8001 S. Eastern


$24 advance, $29 door

credit max hsu_10-58x7-06cm
Can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Well, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Case in point: Chicago rock act Chevelle.

Swiftly approaching two decades since forming, the group remains as aggressive and loud as ever.

“We are still writing music that inspires us, and hard rock is what inspires us. There’s no reason to fake it,” drummer Sam Loeffler said. “Yeah, there’s less screaming than there was earlier in our career, but there’s still always this release in every song. It’s something that is important to us.”

Chevelle boasts a more diverse audience than most in its genre, all while remaining true to that foundation. An ear for hooks and affection for The Cure and Tool helped the outfit cross boundaries and break through to the mainstream back in 2002 with Wonder What’s Next, on the heels of standout singles “The Red” and “Send the Pain Below.”

“Most music comes down to melody. If the melody is good, it doesn’t matter what the genre is,” Loeffler said. “Even though we are a hard rock band, we’ve always concentrated in that, and I think it does pull in some people who wouldn’t otherwise seek us out.”

Beyond that, Chevelle does little else to ensure wide appeal, especially weary of tech trends now dominating American music. The band’s 2009 disc, Sci-Fi Crimes, was built using entirely live recordings; its latest effort, December’s Hats Off to the Bull, was made the same way.

“A couple of years ago, we decided that we weren’t going to be a part of the drum sample, Auto-Tune, Pro Tools style of production,” Loeffler said. “Every sound that is on the record is something we made. Nothing is stolen. It shouldn’t be a novelty, but it is.”

Hats Off finds Chevelle feeling like underdogs, yet the disc debuted on Billboard’s Top 20. The group’s Cinderella story keeps going. 

“We felt like it was a good idea to make a nod to the underdog. It applies to a lot of things right now, whether being the actual bull in a bullfight or the music industry as a whole,” Loeffler said. “It could even stand for our economy or the way things are going with the country. As Americans, I think we can all feel like underdogs in some way, and everything is about proving the others wrong.” 

photo by Max Hsu

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