Chevelle don’t stray too much from the sound they have had basically since Wonder Whats Next. That in my opinion is not a bad thing, as at least all their cds and songs don’t sound like one another, like groups such as Nickelback. Lyrically Sci-Fi Crimes is one of the better cds from Pete. Musically, the riffs are different enough, but the way the songs themeselves are arranged is very similar. Ok, so the first half of this cd is pretty solid. After “Letter From a Thief”, the momentum from the first six tracks kind of falls off. “Highland’s Apparition” and “Roswell’s Spell” just don’t really generate much excitement for me. The last two songs are decent, but I’m on the fence still on how much I really like them. Mind you, that this reveiw was written after only a few listens, so my opinion could still change about a song or two. Like most music, it takes time to digest what is being played.
2009 release from the Alt-Rockers, the follow up to their smash album Vena Sera (2007). Formed in 1995, the Chicago-based band has remained a staple in the Rock scene with six Top 5 Modern Rock hits under their belt, including the #1 songs ”Send the Pain Below” and ”Vitamin R (Leading Us Along)” as well as fan favourites, ”The Red” and ”The Clincher”. The band is made up of Pete Loeffler (vocals, guitars), brother Sam Loeffler (drums), and brother-in-law Dean Bernardini (bass). Chevelle’s 2009 album is the work of a band taking stock of itself after a strenuous decade of recording and touring.
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I became a fan of Chevelle when I’d heard The red and Send the pain below on the radio. I had heard mia before on a bonus cd that came with a Megadeth album. So when I decided to get WWN, I got PN1 also. I wanted to love those albums, but I just couldn’t. Don’t get me wrong, there were some outstanding songs on both, but about half of each album consisted of filler tracks. That’s not to say that there were any bad songs on either album, it’s just that the songs were either really good to great or just ok background music. Then This type of thinking came out, and it was pretty much the same thing. Some really good songs, but also some filler, granted the filler songs were better on this one. So when Vena sera came out, I didn’t have that high of expectations, but to my surprise I loved that album. Sure some songs weren’t as good as others, but the album as a whole was quite good. I couldn’t help but think that their next one was either going to build on their success or disappoint me. Well unfortunately this album didn’t live up to my hopes.
Vena sera’s Safewaters was one of my least favorite songs on the album, but it grew to be one of my favorites, and I’m DESPERATELY hoping to find a song or three like that.
My fears were eased when I heard the opening song, Sleep Apnea. It’s a very good opener, and probably their second best opener, The Clincher being my favorite opening track. After that, the album just seemed to drag along. They do a decent job of mixing up the slower songs, and the faster ones. They have more variety in time changes, than they did on WWN and TTOT, but the songs on here just aren’t that good. Granted there isn’t a bad song on here, except for the pointless interlude, but the actual songs are decent. Musically it’s an ok album. Chevelle sticks to what works, and they play their instruments well enough. Pete sings with as much passion as he always does, but the songs just don’t grab me. Some of them have grown on me a bit, but overall it’s just an ok album. My favorite songs are Sleep apnea, Fell into your shoes, Letters from a thief, and highland’s apparition.
It’s still an ok album. Most Chevelle fans will like it, but I just can’t help but feel like, as another reviewer said, that I’m listening to a collection of b-sides. Maybe if they had taken their time a little more the songs would’ve been better. Either way if you’re a Chevelle fan, by all means check it out, if not, then this album won’t change your mind.
Great album from a band that once again proves they continue to be a force in hard rock.
Chevelle delivers the goods yet again, and still manages to give longtime fans many new flavors to keep us excited. This band has an uncanny ability to please fans over and over with groovin thick driving tunes that practically leave you holding your breath for more. There are some notable changes in this album, but not so many that diehard fans are displeased and start looking for another band to fill a gaping hole. I do agree with the many critics that Sci Fi Crimes is not the best of their catalog, many assign that honor to WWN. I personally couldn’t choose. I think Sci Fi Crimes lacks a flagship track with the quality, depth, emotion and hook of songs like Vitamin R or Well Enough Alone or even Clincher.
However Sci Fi crimes has a couple of stunning tracks like Sleep Apnea and This Circus both of which hit me hard on the first spin as more than worthy of their predecessors. Personally I love the changes. I didn’t expect another WWN which is brilliant or Vena Sera, which is a truly addictive record. I kept wondering how they could even hope to match something near the level of their previous albums. But Sci Fi crimes truly displays that Chevelle continues to be a viable force in music and are still writing great, (if not the best) material out there right now. For me this album solidifies Chevelle as one of my all time favorite bands. And remains one of the few bands (if any) where I can put their entire catalog on shuffle (which I normally hate) and get excited as each song starts and sad as each song ends.
Sleep Apnea- The album opens with a strong force that boldly announces this is a Chevelle record and we’re gonna move you. By many accounts, this is the strongest track on the album and certainly a favorite. It’s chunky dense guitars remind you that this band can play it hard.
A New Momentum- Many of the bloggers out there like this song. For me it is much more reminiscent of earlier Chevelle like from Point #1. It is for that reason that I list this song as a highlight. I absolutely love Point #1 and the edgy raw sound the band had at that time. This track shows they are every bit the same band only better.
This Circus- This song hit me as my favorite track from the very first spin. It dabbles with some changes that make it more dynamic and therefore much more interesting to me. Not a favorite for everyone I realize that probably because it has that uncomfortable mood which I love, but approaching a bit of an artsy sound which makes it much more fun for me. The moment I heard it I stopped and played this track over and over even before spinning the album a second time.
First, let me say…I have been a fan since the first album and I have seen them live 6 times. That being said, I am just stating my true opinion about this album. In the past, it seemd like every album after that first one got better and better and better…etc. This album is my least favorite. Im not at all saying the album isnt good, b/c it is, its just my least favorite of all of them. If your a fan, you will enjoy it, but dont expect it to be as good as any in the past. There are no “Closure” or “The Red” or “Get Some” type tracks on this album. Its a decent album, they just went a different way with the music and vocals than they did in the past.
Chevelle have done it again.
A very solid, interesting album from a band who is CONSISTENT!
Each album of theirs is very good, you know what to expect.
You can’t please everyone, though. For a band that stays true to sound, “all of their songs sound the same.”
For a band that drastically changes their sound (Linikin Park, Thrice, etc.), “I want another -insert 1st or 2nd album from said band.” Not to say the evolved band doesn’t still make good music. You buy their album expecting something similar to what made you buy their previous.
Bands just can’t win. Chevelle is about as close as you can get to winning,though.
You get some of the rocking stuff, with a taste of the lighter stuff, and even some unexpected things.
So it comes down to this….do you want your bands staying the same?
Or, do you want your band ever-changing, leaving their core sound behind? I’ll stick with Chevelle right in the middle.
Sci-Fi Crimes is lyrically their best, no doubt. Pete has a unique writing style that fits perfectly with the music. The album overall is their lightest to date, with still a good amount of punch.
This Type of Thinking remains their best, with Wonder What’s Next behind. Not sure whether I like Vena Sera or SFC better yet. Track-by-track…
1. Sleep Apnea- Best hard track since The Clincher. Heavy guitar, strong melody, interesting lyrics. 10/10
2. Mexican Sun- This one took a while to grow on me. A heavier track, the chorus is a little awkward IMO, but the bridge is the best part for me. 8/10
3. Shameful Metaphors- Saferwaters-lite. Strong track all-around,the chorus is one of their best. Rumored to be a single, and it should be. 9/10
4. Jars- This album’s “Well Enough Alone.” Catchy track, but maybe I ruined it listening to it too much at first. A little repetitive, and just not that strong compared to the rest of the album. 6/10
5. Fell Into Your Shoes- This song reminds me of the end of Fight Club for some reason. This is also a grower, as is this album in general. I did not like it much at first, now it’s a favorite of mine. The “experimental” track,for sure. 8.5/10
6. Letter From a Thief- I was expecting a lot from this track, and I wanted it to be a favorite song of mine. However, it’s just pretty good. Solid, catchy, I wish it sounded a little heavier. I wanted it to be an angrier track. 6.5/10
7. Highland’s Apparition- The best acoustic song of Chevelle. Good lyrics, solid overall. My least favorite, because I like my Chevelle to be heavy. 6/10
8. Roswell’s Spell- This was originally just “Roswell.” It should have stayed that way. Hits hard, has an awesome chorus, but the song tapers off towards the end. 7/10
9. Interlewd- Waste of song space. This made the 11-track album a 10-track, it’s place towards the end of the CD…why, guys? No one likes intros,and no one likes interludes. If you put it on, fine, make sure I’ve got like 13-14 real songs to coincide.
10. A New Momentum- This was my 2nd or 3rd favorite on the first listens through, it has since dropped. Moderately heavy with some cool guitar and cachy chorus. 7.5/10
11. This Circus- “Of All Needs” was a stronger title choice,again. The best closing track by Chevelle, also a standout track with another very strong chorus. 8/10
Sleep Apnea Acoustic- Very cool acoustic version of a heavier sounding song, and it works. Too short and the bridge is left out, but good.
Hot Topic/Shockhound Bonus Tracks
The Gist- Heaviest and most original guitar riff since Family System. You could mistake it for a Slipknot riff.
Unfortunately, another instrumental, and it could have been this album’s most kickass song if it had some words to it. 9/10
Leto’s Headache- Another bonus track ends up being a stand-out track. Awesome bass parts and guitar is stellar, should have made the original album cut without question. 9/10