Sound — 8
Hats off to Chevelle for putting together a rock album that is far above average. The "rock" illustration fits nicely, too, because "Hats Off To The Bull" is solid and monochromatic. Chevelle's formula is simple: fuzzy guitars, nicely audible bass, ordinary drumming, and the vocalist's unique tones. This is the recipe for their secret sauce, which they unashamedly slather all over this record. Everything tastes the same because the "sauce" overwhelms the palate, but you will still appreciate the tang. Chevelle knows their audience's flavor profile and they cook up the goods.
Lyrics — 9
Vocalist Peter Loeffler, whose upper-register wail is the band's signature, takes the "less is more" approach. His great screams and sexy falsettos are sparingly sprinkled throughout the tracks. What a shame these underutilized nuggets are hella tasty. Lame foodie references aside, the lyrical themes aren't anything special. Most modern rock bands delve into the same subject matter. "You're a liar, I don't like you, and I'm going to kick your ass because you hurt me." However, Chevelle deserves big props for articulating their message in a different way. Stimulating vocal rhythms and implied messages inject new life to the same old issues.
Overall Impression — 8
"Hats Off To The Bull" is a lot like eating your favorite meal. Even though it would be the same damned thing over and over again, you'd still consume it every single day and enjoy it just the same. "Hats Off To The Bull" is appetizing from beginning to end.