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  Wonder What’s Next
Artist: Chevelle
Label: Epic
11 tracks/46:25

Remember that boy band Hanson with all the brothers in it? Well, Chevelle is like that except totally different. Granted, Sam, Pete, and Joe Loeffler are brothers. However, they don’t quite fit under the moniker of boy band. Take Staind, Linkin Park, and Living Sacrifice and throw them together. What comes out should be something close to Chevelle’s new CD Wonder What’s Next. To put it bluntly, Chevelle makes Nickleback look like a boy band. 

Chevelle’s first album came three years ago with _Point #1_, released on Steve Taylor’s Squint Records. I can remember spinning the hard-rock disc regularly for at least a year. Eventually, it got replaced by the next thing and I forgot about Chevelle for awhile. Little did I know that Chevelle had bigger things in mind for the future. Welcome to 2002, a year that finds the music of Chevelle honed and developed to create one of the most relevant and heavy albums that the mainstream market has seen in years. My first listen to Wonder What’s Next blew me away. The question that came to my mind was, “is mainstream music ready for this?” Only the coming months will tell. I can’t decide if Chevelle has created the most accessible album in hard music or if Chevelle has created the hardest album in accessible music. Either way you look at it, when Chevelle comes across the radio airwaves you won’t want to change channels. You will sit back in your car and be wowed; either that or your foot will hit the gas pedal a bit heavier than normal. 

Wonder What’s Next is composed of 11 finely woven tunes composed of crunchy guitars, perfect rhythm, and throaty singing/screaming. At times such as the title track, the music drives with relentless aggression and doesn’t let up. On other tracks such as “Send the Pain Below” or the first single “The Red” Chevelle slows the music down enough to break into a chorus that remains in your head for weeks. Thankfully, the band is wise enough to mix things up on the album. The songs all have a hard
edge to them, but they don’t all sound the same. 

The album does not miss the mark lyrically either. The songs are well written, painful and honest. Christian themes are subtle on this album, but they are present. “Forfeit” speaks of pride and the fight against it: “I want to fight, I want to fight, I want to prove I’m right. I want to fight, so turn and forfei_.” The song “Grab Thy Hand” does the best job of showing the band’s allegiance to God: “Oh God, how I want to grab thy hand and…live.” 

The album’s only filler song is the tenth track “An Evening With El Diablo”. Most bands would be happy to claim the song, but it doesn’t seem to fit well with the mix on Wonder What’s Next. Surprisingly, the album closes with the acoustic song “One Lonely Visitor”, proving that even without amps and pedals Chevelle can still put out a good tune. 

Chevelle has done their part. They’ve created an incredible album for the mainstream market and they are touring this summer with Ozzy Osbourne. The question remains now, how will people respond? Regardless of how this album is received, Chevelle can have piece of mind in knowing they made a CD that kicked butt. 

Trae Cadenhead 7/16/2002



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