You might not expect an injection of such lighthearted fare on a Chevelle album, but it certainly is no crime. In fact, after such blistering material on 2007's Vena Sera, it almost seemed proper to tackle less weighty subjects such as apparitions, conspiracy theories, and erratic sleeping conditions. Sci-Fi Crimes, the hard rock trio's fifth album, isn't so much a change of pace as it is a change in source material from which to draw the group's fiercely dynamic sound. Experiences in the lives of the band made it easy for lead man Pete Loeffler to boldly go in a new direction with his songwriting. Take "Highland's Apparition," for instance, which is based on a spooky occurrence at a haunted house, or "Roswell's Spell," inspired by a visit to the UFO Museum in New Mexico. Other songs are less off the wall and more right on target. First single "Jars" explores the down side of "going green" in typical Chevelle style. "Letter from a Thief" is perhaps the most personal tale on the album, written about an incident when the band's equipment was stolen during a tour stop. Let's just say the experience hasn't yet been forgiven and forgotten. This is most certainly the same band that draws frequent comparisons to Tool, with its crunchy guitar attack and Loeffler's unforgettable vocal delivery. But it's their ability to pull off such flippant tales with their characteristic punch that gives Sci-Fi Crimes a humanizing appeal not found on their previous records.
AllMusic Review by Jared Johnson