This Type of Thinking (Could Do Us In)

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Chevelle's 1999 debut delighted in darkening the spaces between quiet and jagged scrawl. Peter Loeffler's guitar periodically tore away from the rhythm section's steadying wires, effectively lessening the brotherly trio's reliance on old Tool albums for influence and pace. Then the boys signed with Epic, which naturally trashed the majority of the interesting noise in favor of amplifying Chevelle's Tool-light tendencies. Hit singles followed ("The Red," "Send the Pain Below"), so you can't fully fault the label. But it's that same sound trudging determinedly through This Type of Thinking (Could Do Us In). "Get Some" and "Vitamin R (Leading Us Along)" switch on a gravelly guitar conveyor, powering it with plodding bass and percussion, and Loeffler sings with hurt urgency over it, sounding exactly -- unbelievably -- like Maynard Keenan. Typical phrases singe the ends of his wrangling power-chord punctuations -- "A black out/Touching new life"; "The panic makes remorse." The songs are strong dynamically, but sound predetermined -- they don't separate from the general loud rock malaise. The same goes for the majority of This Type of Thinking. "Panic Prone" does revisit the softer contours of "Send the Pain," and "Another Know It All" lets the rhythm section mix it up a little, even if it just makes Chevelle sound like Korn. But for the most part -- from "The Clincher" through "Emotional Drought" -- This Type of Thinking is flatly mixed, lost in depression, and obsessed with rewriting "Sober" for a new generation of lank-haired misunderstoods.

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