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Hats Off to the Bull

First and foremost with Chevelle and “Hats Off to the Bull” is the guitar. The guitar lines and effects here are nothing short of fantastic. You notice that guitar when it’s steady and driving on songs like “Face to the Floor” and “Same Old Trip” at the beginning of the album. Then you notice it when it’s something a little more intricate and effect-driven on tracks like “Arise” and “Clones” at the end. That guitar makes this Chevelle album. Usually that’s not the case. Usually the main characteristic from this band is Pete Loeffler’s delightfully odd lyrics and his patterns for delivering them. That’s here, but its scaled back somewhere between Chevelle and Maynard James Keenan and how he sings A Perfect Circle songs. There are plenty of songs that are on point with this record; the four mentioned prior are those that stand out the most. But while this album starts and finishes strong, the middle is a mundane experience. To go along with the middle of the album being somewhat tiresome, the ‘album’ qualities here- transitions and vocal effects to extend a fade on a song- almost all of them miss their point. There are some great songs on this Chevelle album, but there are some very plain moments too. It’s not a miss but it’s not as good as the past few releases from the band.


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